A new report claims that the IoT is now mainstream, with businesses having "budged off a start small, think big mindset."
The Verizon report says that companies across all industries today have IoT squarely on their radar, with the number of connected devices set to rise from 9.7bn in 2014, to 25.6bn and 30bn by 2019 and 2020, respectively.
According to the "State of the Market: Internet of Things 2016" report, revenue growth is the main driver behind the mass adoption of IoT.
Falling costs, continuing convergence of data and services and ever-increasing IoT technology simplification are also pushing IoT adoption.
The improvement and appearance of better network connectivity, low power devices and IoT platforms is also set to create more tools for developers and businesses to scale their IoT deployments more cost-efficiently.
Contained in the report, Verizon commissioned macroeconomic and industrial forecasting company Oxford Economics (OE) to carry out a study on IoT trends.
OE found that throughout 2016 and beyond, the world will continue to see IoT deployed as a mainstream path to generating higher revenue, thanks largely to the rise of four key trends which have come to an inflection point in the past year: data monetisation, core IoT networks and low power devices, platforms as a service (PaaS), and investment in IoT start-ups.
Yet, today only 8% of businesses are using more than 25% of their IoT data, according to OE. This is expected to change over the next two to three years as data monetisation will become a required competency across verticals.
Due to the expected increase in data monetisation, Verizon predicts the rise of Analytics of Things (AoT). In the AoT, businesses can use IoT data to better understand and serve their customers, while improving processes and defining new services. This complements the near 50% of businesses expecting to use more than 25% of their data between 2018 and 2019.
The start-up landscape is set to pose one of the biggest changes in the industry, and in 2016 start-ups are expected to generate two to three times more funding than their consumer counterparts, according to the report.
Verizon’s venture capital (VC) arm, Verizon Ventures, estimates that consumer IoT start-ups raised 15% more VC funding than enterprise-focused start-ups in 2014. However, in 2015, enterprise outpaced consumer by around 75%.
"In 2016, we believe the enterprise will continue that trend, but by a much larger order of magnitude, roughly two to three times more than consumer. 2016 will see enterprise IoT VC funding considerably dominate that of consumer," the report says.
Elsewhere, Verizon’s report finds that security experts are keeping up with the development of technology by looking to arising threat vectors that will impact IoT deployments and ongoing operations.
Authentication of critical data, and baseline triggers for action are the emerging security focus across the industry.
According to the Oxford Economics study, security and privacy concerns are long-standing issues, with success depending on developing systems, policies and procedures for managing the information that IoT generates.
In addition to enabling a new era for global services, the report also predicts that the IoT is poised to tackle the world’s biggest problems, using the agriculture industry as an example that every company will soon be an IoT business.
One of the biggest trends in farming today is precision agriculture, the practice of sensing and responding to variable soil, moisture, weather and other conditions across different plots.
With the potential to help tackle global food shortages, the total market size for digital precision agriculture services is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.2% between 2014 and 2020, to reach $4.55bn.
Lastly, the paper says IoT is set to significantly ease regulatory compliance challenges for enterprises of all shapes and sizes in sectors as diverse as pharmaceutical, agriculture and consumer beverage manufacturing.
Changes in the regulatory landscape will continue to bring the right ecosystem partners together to help establish industry standards more quickly.
Mike Lanman, SVP for the IoT and enterprise products at Verizon, said: "In the past year, we have seen compelling examples of how IoT is being deployed by a wide-range of enterprises, entrepreneurs, municipalities and developers to address relevant business, consumer and public needs."
He said that consumers are more willing to try new technologies and apps that introduce a better way of life.
According to OE‘s study, in the public sector, 81% of IoT adopters believe that their citizens increasingly expect them to offer enhanced services from data and IoT.
Lanman said: "The end result will not only give rise to thousands of new use cases over the next two years, but will also create an accelerated pipeline for innovation and a new economy."