Forecasts from the likes of IHS have indicted the Internet of Things is on the brink of a population explosion. According to the firm, the number of connected devices is expected to jump from an installed base of 15.4 billion in 2015 to more than 30 billion in 2020 and a massive 75.4 billion by 2025.
Already, operators are coalescing around 3GPP’s new IoT standards and general awareness of the benefits of things like smart cities are growing.
But according to Sierra Wireless’ VP of Marketing and Market Strategy Olivier Pauzet, the key to the growth of the IoT will be simplification.
Sierra Wireless is already working with companies like Verizon and Telstra to take the IoT to the next level. And Pauzet said operators are in the process of doing what needs to be done to expand their networks with Low-Power, Wide-Area (LPWA) technology that’s geared toward the IoT. But, he said, the process or companies to roll out IoT solutions is currently too complex to really allow for rapid mass adoption among enterprises.
In order to come out with solutions, he said, too many disparate pieces currently need to be patched together – you have to find the right modem, the right antenna, get your device certified and approved, deal with the different MNOs who will supply connectivity, find a cloud provider, the right platform, security, and the list goes on. What is really needed, he said, is simplicity.
“What we need to do to accelerate the IoT is streamline this process and eliminate this hidden cost for customers on how much IoT will cost them,” Pauzet said. “(The key question is) how can we help our customer remove these complexities? It’s not just about a module or SIM card, it’s about the whole system and to do that you need to have partners.”
And it’s no small opportunity that stands to be lost if companies don’t partner up to offer end-to-end solutions.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the IoT could pack a total potential economic punch of $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion annually by 2025, with business-to-business applications accounting for up to 70 percent of that value.
Another key, McKinsey indicated, will be interoperability. Of that aforementioned $3.9-11.1 trillion opportunity, 40 percent of that value requires interoperability – and that figure rises to 60 percent in some scenarios, McKinsey said.