Gateway to IoT Innovation:
The $10 Trillion IoT Opportunity

By: Scott St. John, Pipeline

The Internet of Things (IoT) market is at a pivotal point. It constitutes a tremendous opportunity for network and service providers, with some market forecasters predicting a more than 300 percent increase in connected devices coming online between now and 2030. That equates to nearly 30 million devices and a $10 trillion market size encompassing many industry verticals. But the question remains whether network service providers will seize the IoT opportunity to move up the value chain by providing more value and helping their customers transform.

There’s a similar historical comparison between the current IoT market and past smartphone opportunity. The advent of 4G and the smartphone added intelligence to the device, upon which other services could be layered. Service providers at the time were focused on providing as many connectivity services and data plans as they could. And it was a good business for a while. But then the network, connectivity and services became commoditized leading to high rates of churn and fierce competition. In the end, even though the service providers owned the network, connectivity and direct-customer relationships, the lion’s share of the smartphone opportunity was snatched by third-party application and data-service providers, while they were left holding the bag on the multi-year network cost and customer care side of the equation.

Now with IoT, network service providers are again presented with a monumental opportunity to ascend the innovation stack. Similar to the smartphone model, the IoT business model for service providers currently centers around the device connectivity, data plan, and the SIM card. This is a significant opportunity today, but it’s already a highly competitive commodity business. However, their customer relationships give them an advantage, and many service providers are looking for ways to provide more business value to their customers, who are also looking to receive more value from their service provider. It’s an opportunity ripe for the taking, and one where everyone wins.

The Intelligent IoT Enterprise Opportunity

Enterprise adoption of connected devices is accelerating at a rapid rate, and business operations are becoming increasingly digitized. Enterprises today are also becoming increasingly distributed, with users, endpoints, and applications spread across various locations and cloud environments. Managing the complexity and making operational decisions is becoming more challenging as a result. These enterprises, particularly Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs), are looking for tools and expertise to help them transform and harness the potential of IoT.

IoT devices and sensors provide a wealth of data that can be used to deliver business insights and make better, more informed operational decisions. It also can be used to provide greater intelligence and unlock the power of AI analytics and automation. This is where the real opportunity lies for service providers, to provide powerful tools that simplify the complexity of IoT and provide more business value to their customers.


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