One year ends, another year begins: which means it’s time for IoT predictions.
IoT and data-driven business used to be thought of as a bonus; something handy to have on top of everything else.
Not so anymore—businesses that don’t make the transition to data-driven decisions and IoT technology are now behind the competition. And 2020 will take this trend to new heights; especially with the advent of 5G and other powerful connectivity options.
This is reflected in one of the most frequently asked questions by our partner channel: which sectors should you focus on to win in the IoT market? And of course, the answer is to keep doing what you do best: work with the sectors that you’re adept at working with, while expanding your offering with IoT.
That said—some sectors move faster than others, and analysts are predicting massive growth in a number of areas. Here are a few of the biggest upcoming growth trends in 2020.
There’s a ton of combinations when it comes to IoT devices, sensors, and connectivity, all performing amazing tasks that used to be very manual and very time consuming. Now, you can measure and report accurately on every variable you can think of: temperature, proximity, pressure, vibration, height, depth, humidity, air quality—the list goes on.
Dangerous operations, like running maintenance on heavy factory equipment or investigating a hitch in an assembly line, can now be conducted automatically and remotely—reducing both costs and risk of injury to workers.
And through AI, industrial solutions are going to become even more effective. Gartner predicts that AI will soon become a staple in over 80% of IoT solutions.
Predictive maintenance will continue to grow in scope and capability—with an hour of downtime costing factories upwards of £100,000, data-fetching sensors and smart alarms are massive money savers.
And as IoT sensors develop, digital twinning will become even more important for manufacturers looking to simulate equipment changes, pinpoint the root cause of hitches, and open up fresh revenue streams.
One concern with Industry 4.0 is the potential loss of jobs, much like when farming became largely automated through the use of heavy machinery. But the counterpoint is clear: new jobs were created back then to build and maintain the machines, and IoT will work in much the same way, with more technical jobs replacing obsolete roles.
Transport and logistics
Transport and logistics are ahead of the pack when it comes to IoT. As of 2019, its adoption rate was 42%, up from 27% in 2018—a huge uptake. And no wonder: it’s a high-stakes, highly competitive industry that touches just about every other industry. Making sure your product always gets to its intended destination, on time and in perfect condition is crucial. Slip up, and you risk ticking off customers and losing business.
So being able to track the location and monitor the condition of your product while it’s moving is hugely valuable for all businesses that deal with physical goods. Smart container solutions have already gained momentum, along with route planning and fuel efficiency tools. We’ll see these continue to payoff in 2020; and it’s very likely that by the end of the year, it’ll be the first sector with over 50% of its businesses equipped with IoT.
Fast-paced and hugely lucrative, retail is one of the industries under the most pressure to innovate. It’s in a bit of an odd spot: online retailers are raking it in, whereas High Street horror stories talk of reduced customer footfall and closing shops.
That’s not to say that brick and mortar retail is dead: 80% of retail revenue still comes from in-store purchases. So what gives?
Online retailers—the Amazons, ASOSes, Alibabas—have all been ahead of the game when it comes to adopting IoT into both their supply chains and their physical locations.
And now, with solutions like, footfall tracking, pop-up retail and locational marketing, retailers can take better advantage of customer behaviour patterns. Digital interfaces in stores will be pivotal in building a great customer experience, while also enabling cross-selling and up-selling. Lastly, gamification and loyalty programs are an excellent opportunity to turn one-off shoppers into steady, returning customers.
So digital storefronts will continue to snowball, but 2020 is also the High Street’s chance to turn things around through IoT tech.
Smart cars features are no longer a pipe dream, with drivers now actively seeking out features like built-in entertainment and self-parking.
Myself included! I’ve been making use of a remote start app; by starting the car mid-morning-routine, it’s defrosted and ready to roll by the time we’re out of the house (which is a godsend up North, where we often wake up with frozen car windows). Not to mention: this way, my 5-year-old doesn’t shiver his little socks off!
According to Vodafone’s IoT barometer, 36% of the automotive industry had adopted IoT by 2019—and this is going to rise quickly through 2020, as Cellular V2X (Vehicle to Everything) tech makes leaps and bounds with the aid of 5G. Smart cars that communicate with each other have the potential to greatly increase road safety and reduce accidents. And should an accident happen, they can immediately contact emergency services.
Projects like Ericssons 5GCAR are already showing the benefits of V2X with real-time analysis and assisted driving; and there’s sure to be awesome tech on display at this year’s GlobeCom that’ll feed into the connected cars of 2020.
To sum it all up, I’d like to reiterate my previous point: when it comes to IoT, you’ll never have to reinvent your business. There are bound to be plenty of strong IoT opportunities in your industry. But if you do see your sector on this list, be ready to tap into those lucrative revenue streams in 2020.
Not sure where to start? Come speak to us. We’ll help you form an IoT strategy that fits your business, then work with you to craft a solution for your chosen sector.