The Internet of Things (IoT) technology market is taking a short breather, according to new survey data from the IoT M2M Council (IMC), a London-based industry group whose membership includes AT&T, Verizon and Intel.
IMC asked 12,000 enterprise users, developers and OEMs about their IoT projects and their answers pointed to a little speedbump on the way to intelligent, data-rich IT environments driven by a network of smart devices, according to Alex Brisbourne, chairman of the IMC and CEO of KORE Wireless, a machine-to-machine (M2M) communications specialist. "We see an increase of 11.6 percent in the percentage of IoT Adopters looking to start projects in the next 12 months, but a small decrease of around 4 percent in those looking to do so in the next six months."
The decline can be attributed to budgetary concerns, as is typically the case when IT and finance departments face off, speculated Brisbourne. "This could be due to the inconsistent economic picture globally, and perhaps year-end budgetary pressures are a factor, but time will tell."
In encouraging news for IoT solutions vendors, IMC reported "strong growth" in large deployments of over 1,000 devices. The group also noticed robust demand for long-range wireless connectivity delivered by cellular networks and satellite providers, creating opportunities for telecommunications companies.
One telecom is already feeling the effects.
Earlier this year, a forecast in Verizon's report, State of the Market: The Internet of Things (IoT) 2015, predicted that by there will be 5.4 billion business-to-business (B2B) IoT connections shuttling data between devices by 2020. For comparison's sake, the industry had enabled 1.2 billion such connections last year.
In the meantime, the IoT is helping to boost Verizon's bottom line. The company revealed in February that its IoT business had grown sales 45 percent year-over-year in 2014 and was managing 15 million IoT-enabled connections. High-speed 4G LTE activations skyrocketed 135 percent during that time.
IMC's findings indicate that enterprise users are "more bullish" about the prospects of kicking off short-term IoT projects. Developers and OEMs are taking more of a wait-and-see approach.
In terms of industrial demand, the energy sector is leading the charge, said IMC. The group pointed to the need to improve efficiency in the wake of falling energy prices as a possible reason why utilities and energy producers are currently flocking to IoT solutions.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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