By 2020, Intel predicts there will be 200 billion IoT devices.
By 2025, the chip maker thinks the industry will be worth $US6.2 trillion.
These statistics differ depending on who you talk to: Gartner estimates 20 billion devices by 2020, Accenture as many as 40 billion devices by 2024.
McKinsey predicts an annual economic impact of up to $US11.1 trillion by 2025.
Everyone has their estimates, but they all share one thing in common: the potential is exponential.
When you consider the underlying possibilities IoT can bring, it rapidly becomes clear that you're looking directly at the future: it is one where IoT plays a part in the fabric of almost every industry and in every aspect of our lives, and like AI (and in fact, in conjunction with AI) will supercharge the economic growth of any company, industry, or government that wants to tap into the opportunity.
But the statistics quoted above, and many like them, focus on the global potential.
We wanted to see what the opportunity was for Australia, so we partnered with PwC to produce Australia’s IoT Opportunity: Driving Future Growth – An ACS Report.
Specifically, to look at which industries can benefit and how we can go about leveraging the potential.
Here's a summary of what we found – all up this is a $308 billion opportunity, with a number of key industry sectors set to benefit the most from an investment into IoT products and services.
· Construction – a potential $75–96 billion. Reduced build times, increased automation, less wastage, and improved worker safety are all results from integrating IoT into typical construction projects, with flow-on effects across efficiency and logistical chains.
· Manufacturing – a potential $50–88 billion. By nature, manufacturing is ripe for optimisation via sensors, robotics, and 3D printing with efficiencies in production and maintenance reducing downtimes and costs, again with flow-on effects for logistical and supply chains.
· Healthcare – a potential $34–68 billion. Integration of networked sensors, wearables and other devices has the potential to revolutionise healthcare from the ground up aiding in diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment to deliver better care.
· Mining – a potential $22–34 billion. Significant potential to increase output, decrease production costs, improve safety outcomes and reduce environmental impact. Given the value of mining to the Australian economy, the flow-on effects would be substantial.
· Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing – a potential $14–22 billion. Primary producers will be able to increase yields and reduce costs, which in turn would lift profitability and improve the competitiveness of Australian produce in international markets.
For the tech sector itself, which underpins all of the innovations with the IoT – hardware, software, solutions and communications – there's a potential $30 billion up for grabs.
This isn't just about transforming our own economic future, but exporting the fruits of our revolutionised industries and the associated IoT technologies overseas as well.
And as our digital footprints grow, and with the complexities of a data driven world, issues such as security and further societal impacts become even more prominent, and will require being prepared as a nation.
So, we can't sit on our hands with this. Naturally, we need a way forward and so the report also outlines key strategies for business and policies for government.
For its part, when it comes to global stats, PwC estimates the value of IoT between $5-6 trillion by 2030.
Let's live up to the clever country that we claim to be, and get ahead of the game on this one.
If you'd like to learn more and what the opportunities are for your business and industry, you can download the free report from the Publications section at acs.org.au.