Internet of Things (IoT) connections in business are set to reach 5.4 billion in the next five years, according to a new Verizon report.
The report claims that the period of 2014 to 2020 will see the number of business IoT connections more than quadrupling to reach the global figure.
Much of the drive is coming from the automotive industry, with the 14 car manufacturers which account for 80 percent of the global industry all having a "connected car" strategy.
In addition, more than 13 million health and fitness tracking devices are forecast to hit the workplace by 2018.
The report predicts that the much-touted "smart city" capabilities of the future, facilitated by IoT, will become a key factor differentiator in locating businesses as early as 2025.
"When you look across the spectrum, IoT covers a multitude of solutions, from wearable devices, to remote monitoring of energy management devices to industrial transportation to improve safety and efficiency," says Mark Bartolomeo, vice president of IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon. "New use cases are created every day; however, the business case for IoT and enterprise adoption often gets overlooked.
"Within the past year, amid an improving economy, we’ve seen a number of new entrants starting to use IoT as a roadmap to improve their customers’ experiences, accelerate growth and create new business models that are driving societal innovation."
The report claims that a range of factors are driving the faster adoption, including the increasing use of social media and mobile technology. However, adoption remains fairly low, with security concerns and a lack of standardisation highlighted as barriers to IoT growth.
"As machine-to-machine technology adoption continues to move downstream with millions of endpoints connected, it will change how we see cybersecurity and privacy," Bartolomeo says. "Our role is to help key decision makers tackle complexities like security head-on by encouraging a more proactive posture in order to create value for their organisations while reducing potential risk."