23rd July, 2020
Megan Doyle

How to Get Buy-in: The Use Cases Driving IoT Adoption

Tags: Smart Business Models, IoT, Disruptive Industries, Service & Platform Economy

IoT is Everywhere

According to Cisco, 500 billion devices are expected to be connected to the Internet by 2030. Take this one step further and in that same year, there will be at least 15 connected devices to each individual. 

The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) market is showing no sign of slowing down and businesses are investigating what the technology has to offer. With organizations predicted to make a total investment of $15 trillion into the IoT market by 2025, it’s clear to see that applications of IoT are booming. This could boil down to several different reasons, although the declining cost of sensors, communication technologies, and data processing are among the top factors. Since the return on investment (ROI) for IoT applications has never been more appealing, companies are thinking more boldly about the strategies that will help them to achieve IoT’s full disruptive potential. 

According to Verizon, for an organization to determine its solution as being fully IoT-enabled, it needs to demonstrate three key criteria: 1) Awareness; 2) Autonomy; 3) Action.

IoT enables organizations to benefit from:

  • Enhanced sources of real-time data
  • Revolutionary business models
  • Additional service offerings

IoT devices use smart sensors to gather unprecedented amounts of real-time environmental data that is then autonomously analyzed and shared with other devices and networks. This data is often referred to as the key raw material in which organizations turn actionable insights into enhanced organizational value. 

Companies are increasingly relying on data-driven insights to create innovative solutions to elevate profitability, generate efficiencies, and gain a competitive edge. Among the many business benefits of IoT, decision-makers are now able to gain an extensive overview of market sectors and operations in completely new ways. It’s predicted that by 2025, organizations that adopt IoT will be at least 10% more profitable than competitors that don’t. 

Although IoT has already gained significant traction within the manufacturing sector, the uptake of smart devices has shifted far beyond industrial implementations. Industries like healthcare, agriculture, conservation, retail, gaming, and transportation are embracing IoT to optimize business processes. 

Real-world Use Cases Driving IoT Adoption

As is often the case with new technologies, the road to mass-market adoption takes time.

Five key verticals will accelerate the pace of IoT adoption: (1) Wearables; (2) Connected Vehicles; (3) Smart Homes; (4) Smart Cities; (5) Industrials.

Beyond the bounds of industrial applications, the following four use cases are driving IoT adoption to enable a seamlessly connected world.

Wearable Technology

Wearable technology is arguably the most well-known application of IoT. Often referred to as the Consumer Internet of Things (CIoT) due to their immense popularity within the consumer market. 

Wearables have advanced to the point where they can outperform many of the same computing tasks that were once only native to mobile phones and computers. Think to the Apple watch which enables individuals to stay up to date with emails, and even answer phone calls, while on-the-go. The Fitbit is another popular wearable that monitors heart rate patterns and tracks various forms of exercise that individuals can compare with historical fitness data. 

By 2022, it’s expected that 1.105 trillion wearable devices will be connected worldwide. With various products already available in the market and expected in the near future, these devices are playing a major role in the healthcare industry. Healthcare wearables, like the connected digital care system AssistMe, collect data to provide medical professionals, emergency services, and patients with important information that could, ultimately, save lives.

Although wearable technology may have the most success in the human-impact sphere, IoT also holds great promise in the gaming realm. These devices, in tandem with augmented reality (AR), create a realistic and immersive gaming environment for users to experience in real-time. 

Connected Vehicles 

By 2020, more than 152 million cars will connect to the Internet, impacting all counterparts of the automotive industry from car manufacturers to city planners, emergency services, insurance companies, drivers, and passengers. 

Smart vehicles are equipped with built-in sensors that gather information about the vehicle and its surroundings. Companies are leveraging IoT in transportation logistics to monitor fleet management, minimize costs, reduce the risk of damaged assets, and leap ahead of competitors. Companies like Bransys use sensors to monitor road trailers’ assets while also controlling and monitoring the temperature for environment-sensitive cargo like perishables. 

IoT is saving individuals substantial amounts of time and money by solving simple challenges that many people face each day. In 2017, American drivers spent on average, a whopping 17 hours per year looking for parking. That's a collective annual cost of $73 billion in time, fuel, and emissions loss. Compare this to drivers in the UK who spent 44 hours per year searching for parking with a collective annual cost of $30 billion and German drivers who spent 41 hours per year searching for parking spots with a collective annual cost of $44.5 billion. It’s no wonder then that companies like ParqEx saw a gap in the market to create a private parking marketplace that connects owners of private garages with drivers through a mobile application. 

Smart vehicles have enhanced navigation systems, safety features, efficient parking mechanisms, predictive maintenance capabilities, fuel monitoring systems, and features that can help drivers predict and avoid collisions.

Smart Homes

As one of the most publicized categories of IoT, smart home applications are practically infinite. IoT is transforming ordinary household ‘things’ into connected devices such as smart thermostats, connected light bulbs, smart kitchen appliances, air conditioners, and a range of security devices, such as alarm systems and security cameras. 

Voice-activated virtual assistants are one area of smart home devices gaining immense popularity. The number of voice assistants used to control smart home devices is expected to reach $555 million by 2024. 

Ease, automation, and convenience are what make smart home systems so appealing. Household devices can be remotely managed and controlled by a schedule, mobile, or the Internet. With the help of IoT, households have been able to save time and money, reduce energy consumption, and improve the overall quality of life for its occupants. Already the numbers are staggering; predictions suggest that the smart home market will reach $144 billion by 2025.

Smart Cities

IoT has revolutionized global markets through new ways of monitoring, managing, and remotely controlling devices. When these digital devices are rendered into a city’s existing infrastructure, it creates a ‘smart’ city.  

Advanced technologies such as IoT, blockchain, AI, wireless sensor technology, and intelligent management systems, among many others, are making this possible. IoT still maintains prime importance in harmonizing multiple connected systems to solve some of the major challenges currently faced by cities all over the world. 

Through the IoT lens, cities can identify infrastructure opportunities and potential issues before they emerge. When decision-makers have a holistic overview of multiple forces that affect cities, they can make better policy decisions to enhance the way citizens live and work.

Barcelona is on the cutting edge of smart city development and has integrated a unique top-down and bottom-up approach to urban digitalization, reaching for what some are calling Smart City 3.0. Aided by smart sensors, the city has implemented automated irrigation systems, smart waste disposal, smart street lighting, and an interconnected bus transit system to improve the lives of its residents. 

As smart technology continues to improve urban centers, the global smart cities market is expected to reach $330 billion by 2025. 

IoT and The World We Create

As a profound technology with immense potential, IoT has woven itself into the fabric of our everyday lives, fulfilling the Internet’s promise of making the world a truly connected place. 

IoT is enabling a smarter future where every ‘thing’ is connected, gathering, and sharing information to help people lead smarter lives. IoT is here today with a plethora of successful implementations to prove what’s possible. Other current use cases include:

With new and exciting IoT concepts at work across various domains, aspects of our daily lives are becoming more efficient in the home, at the workplace, and around our cities. Corporations, governments and forward-thinkers are thinking big, starting small, and finally, scaling fast to reap the rewards of IoT’s full potential for the betterment of business — and the world.

About the author

Megan Doyle

Business Content Specialist at Next Big Thing AG.

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