IIoT is big. Everyone seems to agree on that point. But how big?
Among those offering a broad assessment is London-based analytics firm, Visiongain, which recently released its Industrial Internet Market Report 2015-2025: The Future for Machine to Machine (M2M), Smart Connected Devices, Big Data Analytics & Internet of Things (IoT).
Visiongain’s 179 page report suggests that 2015 will be “pivotal” with industry revenues topping $244 billion. This is certainly in the same realm as the prediction made by Gartner some 18 months ago that all IoT will include 26 billion units installed by 2020, and by that time, IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion.
The Visiongain folks say that not only will the industrial internet and M2M market flourish, but so will many IT and Telecom based industries. There, the growth will come from IIoT application and we will see huge growth with the widespread application of wireless infrastructure, big data and cloud computing. That, in turn, should generate increases in production, and efficiency while delivering OpEx and CapEx savings.
The authors also slice and dice growth among major markets. For instance, as they see it, Germany should see IIoT revenue grow from just over $7 billion this year to $20.9 billion in 2020 and $54 billion in 2025. But the highest growth rate in that period, they say, will be “now” with a better than 32 percent growth into 2016.
While Visiongain may be the latest (released in mid-June) report to catalog the bright future of the Industrial Internet, it is hardly alone. A recent Forbes article on the IIoT mentioned a number of other equally bullish predictions.
For example, GE executives continue to promote and even expand upon the bold predictions made a few years ago in a company report about IIoT. One of the boldest of those predictions is that American incomes could rise by 25 to 40 percent over the next 20 years thanks to IIoT – implying economic growth rates not seen since the late 1990s. Extrapolating globally, GE sees another $10 to $15 trillion pumping up global GDP over the same period.
Nor, in the case of GE, is the evidence lacking. Their “smart” systems have demonstrated the ability to squeeze several percent more performance from the gas turbines used to generate electricity as well as similar results for aircraft in flight. These are fuel gobbling applications where even tiny improvements can yield millions of dollars in annual savings. More information always seems to help! Ditto for that unglamorous mainstay, the freight locomotive. There, better understanding of route conditions, loads, and the operations of the engine itself, has produced startling performance improvements in hauling operations.
John Chambers, the chairman and CEO of Cisco has also predicted great things, like $19 trillion in “increased value” over the next decade thanks to a combination of cost savings, improved services, increased corporate profits and higher government revenue.
A dash of skepticism may be in order for some of the longer-range predictions but the trend is nonetheless obvious!
Alan R. Earls is a Boston-based writer focused on technology, business, and manufacturing — a field where he spent the earliest part of his career. He has written for publications and websites as diverse as The Boston Globe, Computerworld and Modern Infrastructure as well as Industry, The Manufacturer, and Today's Machining World.