The Internet of Things market will be worth approximately $1.23 trillion by spending come 2020, as suggested by a recent report authored by the International Data Corporation. The analytics firm projected hardware to account for around $400 billion of that figure, though the dominance of this segment in the overall global spending on IoT devices is unlikely to continue for long, with IDC indicating that services and general software will outpace hardware by spending early in the next decade. Consumer-facing products and services are expected to be one of the most significant contributors to IoT's growing expansion, whereas insurance, retail, and healthcare sectors are also projected to make significant investments in the coming years.
With IoT being a tech category that combines a wide variety of solutions, some level of synergistic investments coordinated by multiple industries is to be expected, with manufacturing being the most likely candidate to lead such efforts, the report suggests. Many segments that have the potential to become massive IoT growth engines are still in their infancy, with the most obvious such example being self-driving vehicles. Internet-enabled building management solutions may also end up being major contributors to the overall value of the IoT market going forward, with some of the world's largest tech giants like Samsung already committing significant resources to developing smart facility management services. The effects those industries will have on the IoT segment should become much more palpable within the next two to three years, IDC concludes.
The research firm's new forecast is just the latest report predicting a bright future for IoT devices and one that appears to acknowledge the constantly increasing difficulty of tracking this sector whose definition is becoming more muddled as years go by. Today, everything from connected vehicles and smart speakers to refrigerators that can communicate with smartphones, healthcare wearables, and advanced lighting setups are often categorized under the same moniker. As the entire planet is gradually moving toward a fully connected future, more specific classifications will have to be adopted by industry trackers less their IoT studies turn into global economy reports. IDC's latest research also coincides with recent projections that IoT chips will be counted in the trillions in the long term.