Wednesday, 14 December 2016 21:19

IoT connected devices to hit 46 billion in five years


The number of connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices around the world will triple over the next five years, reaching over 46 billion in 2021.

The whopping increase of 200% from 2016 is forecast by analyst firm Juniper Research which says the growth is driven in large part by a reduction in the unit costs of hardware. “It will average close to the 'magic’ US$1 throughout the period.”

The research found that industrial and public services would post the highest growth over the forecast period, averaging more than 24% annually.

But, Juniper cautions that both providers and end-users will face tremendous challenges when considering IoT deployments at scale.

“The platform landscape is flourishing,” notes research author Steffen Sorrell.

“However, analytics and database systems are, for the most part, not architected to handle the Big Data 2.0 era that the IoT brings”.

To that end, Juniper says it has identified key areas where disruption is needed, such as spatio-temporal analytics and intelligent systems able to run on less powerful machines (eg routers).

Juniper predicts that, without changes in attitude from some service providers, getting an IoT project off the ground would be too difficult for non tech-savvy customers.

The analyst firm noted that initiatives such as Exosite’s IoT Alliance (a large partner network) and Rubicon Labs’ flexible business models — or pricing according to the value of the data in question — would be fundamental in driving market traction forward.

Additionally, the research found that the security threat landscape is widening.

Juniper makes the point that IoT DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) "botnet" attacks have become infamous in 2016, “although in the medium term, personal data theft, corporate data theft and physical asset damage will be the primary goals for IoT hackers”.

The research also found that enterprise and industry are investing heavily in security for the IoT.

Juniper says, however, the consumer market landscape is woeful, with lax attitudes typified by UK ISP TalkTalk’s “astounding do nothing Mirai Worm advice to consumers”. The research argued that regulatory, corporate and media collaboration would be needed in order to improve the overall threat landscape.

To download the Juniper whitepaper — "IoT-Internet of Transformation" — click here.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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