Wednesday, 02 September 2015 12:15

Retailers IoT spending splurge

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Retailers looking to capitalise on the Internet of Things (IoT) will spend an estimated $2.5 billion on hardware and installation costs over the next five years, according to newly published research.

Juniper Research says there will be a fourfold increase in spending over this year’s estimated $670 million spend, including investment in Bluetooth Beacons and radio frequency ID tags (RFID).

According to Juniper, leading retailers using the IoT to generate an ‘ecosystem’ are poised to gain market advantage and “truly capitalise” on the opportunity.

Research report author Steffen Sorrell said linking the hardware elements of RFID tags, beacons and connected consumer electronics, such as wearables, with software analytics “promises in-depth business insight and an enhanced customer experience.”

"Retailers such as Zara and Target are already taking advantage of the benefits offered by RFID asset tracking. Meanwhile the beacon industry is expanding rapidly. Used as a method to provide consumers with contextually relevant information in conjunction with their smartphone or wearable will enormously enhance the in-store experience."

The Juniper research found that with the number of connected units within the IoT forecast to reach 38.5 billion in 2020, attitudes and methods with regards to cybersecurity will have to undergo fundamental change.

According to Sorrell, where today’s security is principally focussed on access prevention, the IoT security model will require “robust means of identifying inevitable network breaches.”

“Should suspicious activity be detected, parts of the network can then be ‘shut off’ in similar fashion to marine vessel bulkheads to prevent attack spread.”


Other findings by Juniper include:

•    70% of IoT units are expected to be composed of non-consumer devices by 2020

•    With diverse business models and aims of IoT projects such as service revenue, spend and cost-savings taken into account, Juniper forecasts the IoT opportunity to approach $300 billion annually in 2020.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year 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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