IoT Market Predictions. Guaranteed Nonsense

There is one thing certain in any emerging technology space, predictions for the size of the market will grow rapidly over a short period of time as analysts and researchers produce reports that predict bigger and bigger numbers.

Some of the highlights…

  • Bain – annual revenue for vendors in 2020 could be $470 billion
  • McKinsey – IoT market size will grow from $900 million in 2015 to $3.7 billion by 2020 (37% CAGR)
  • General Electric – Investment in Industrial IoT could top $60 TRILLION in next 15 years.
  • IHS – installed base of IoT devices could grow from 15.9 billion in 2015 to 75.4 billion in 2025.
  • Gartner – installed base in 2016 could be 6.4 billion devices growing to 20.8 billion in 2020.

(Source, Forbes)

McKinsey IoT Internet of Things

It’s noticeable that these types of reports tend to increase market size over time for some simple reasons: as you start to measure something, you tend to find more examples and so the overall number of things you can measure increases; demonstrating ‘research’ that show big numbers is a good way to get the attention of the CXOs in large companies, something that Bain, McKinsey, GE and others for example are always keen to do; paid research reports and analyses are often purchased by people in the industry who want to, for example, build a case to raise investment for their business so the bigger numbers tend to attract more purchases than reports that says a market is very small.

We know the market is growing, we should be wary of research that produces numbers that are so large that they become meaningless.

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