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4.9bn connected 'things' in use by 2015

Gartner says that businesses have 'no choice' but to pursue the Internet of Things

4.9bn connected 'things' in use by 2015
Gartner said that, by 2020, the number of connected things in use would jump to 25bn

There will be 4.9bn connected things in use in 2015, up 30% from 2014, as the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to proliferate, according to the latest insights from Gartner.

Gartner said that, by 2020, the number of connected things in use would jump to 25bn. The research house explained that the IoT had become a powerful force for business transformation, and that its disruptive impact will be felt across all industries and all areas of society.

"The digital shift instigated by the Nexus of Forces (cloud, mobile, social and information), and boosted by IoT, threatens many existing businesses," said Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. 

"They have no choice but to pursue IoT, like they've done with the consumerisation of IT."

Gartner said that this sudden expansion will boost the economic impact of the IoT as consumer, businesses, city authorities, hospitals and other entities find new ways to exploit the technology. The research house estimated that the IoT will support total services spending of $69.5bn in 2015, and $263bn by 2020.

Consumer applications will drive the number of connected things, Gartner said, while enterprise will account for most of the revenue. The research house predicted that 2.9bn connected things will be in use in the consumer sector in 2015 and will reach over 13 billion in 2020. The automotive sector will show the highest growth rate at 96% in 2015, Gartner said.

From an industry perspective, manufacturing, utilities and transportation will be the top three verticals using IoT in 2015 - all together they will have 736m connected things in use, Gartner said.

By 2020, the ranking will change with utilities in the number-one spot, manufacturing will be second and government will be third, totaling 1.7bn IoT units installed.

"Government will take the number-three spot as it invests in smart street and area lighting for energy saving reasons," said Tully. "Utilities will move to the number-one position because of investment in smart meters."

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