By Next Year: 6.4 Billion Interconnected Devices

Gartner has predicted that there will be 6.4 billion interconnected devices online by the end of 2016, with new devices coming online at a rate of 5.5 million per day.

These devices include everything from toasters to kettles and hospital equipment to cars. The total number of devices will represent a rise of 30% from 2015 and current rates of growth are set to reach 20.8 billion by 2020.

The total spending on services will amount to $235 billion by the end of 2016, a 22% increase over 2015 levels, according to Gartner’s analysis. In addition to this, they believe that the majority of spending will be attributable to what they define as the “professional category”. What this means is that companies will outsource IT services rather than taking on the IT infrastructure work required in the process of designing, installing and the operational implementation of IoT systems. Gartner predicts that connectivity services, via communications system providers and also consumer services will grow much faster than the IT outsourcing market.

They estimate that 4 billion interconnected devices will be used by the consumer sector by the end of 2016, growing to 13.5 billion by the end of 2020.

When Gartner analyzes enterprise computing, they consider interconnected devices in two categories. The first category is comprised of devices that are generic and useable in a variety of industries, including connected lighting, HVAC and BMS (building management services), mainly used with the purpose of cutting costs.

The second category is devices that are specific to particular verticals within particular industries. For example, this can include specialized equipment that is used in the health services, such as specialized equipment used in operating theatres or for tracking patients as they move through a hospital or clinic. Another industry that uses such specialized equipment is shipping, where the processes of supply chains and logistics need an array of interconnected devices in order to improve efficiency and functionality throughout.

The largest category is currently interconnected devices for specialized use, but this is changing with an increase in the number of generic devices being used, and by the year 2020 Gartner predicts that cross industry generic devices will be the main category, dominating the number of interconnected devices being used as enterprise solutions.