By 2011, there were 15 billion things connected to the Internet, with over 50 billion intermittent connections. At the end of this decade, IDC predicts those numbers will rise. There will be over 30 billion things connected to the Internet by 2020, and there will be over 200 million intermittent Internet connections.
Market research firm Infonetics recently published a report on the machine-to-machine (M2M) market. The study, entitled “M2M Strategy by Vertical: North American Enterprise Survey,” provides a view of how businesses are using or planning to use M2M solutions. Infonetics surveyed medium and large businesses about their intentions to implement M2M.
Some examples of M2M include “smart” cars that learn drivers’ preferences for music and seating, “smart” meters that transmit information on utility usage to municipalities so they can cut down on consumption and “smart” medical equipment that allows medical staff to more effectively monitor patients’ vital signs.
The impetus for carrying out the survey was rooted in the question about the demand for M2M solutions. “So much of the discussion surrounding M2M has been focused on the number of expected M2M connections by 2020, but whether it is 20 billion, 30 billion, or 50 billion, there’s no question that number is going to be huge. What hasn’t been as clear is why this is happening. Why are enterprises buying M2M services?” said Godfrey Chua, directing analyst for M2M and connected world, Infonetics Research.
Researchers at Infonetics discovered that businesses believe adopting M2M technologies will provide them with an edge over their rivals. “We asked enterprises what’s driving their decisions to adopt M2M services, and the number-one factor is the never-ending pursuit of competitive advantage,” Chua noted. “This speaks to the need for M2M services to deliver a strong business case. As technologies continue to evolve and prices come down, enterprises will increasingly turn to M2M to lower operating costs, differentiate their brands, and create new revenue opportunities.”
The report highlighted that survey respondents expect the need for M2M services to increase over the course of 2014. Although the companies surveyed expressed optimism for M2M adoption, they also shared their concerns about this new technology. Security, regulatory issues and the complexity of M2M solutions make businesses somewhat apprehensive of this phenomenon. Respondents also believe that network quality is of great importance for M2M service provider selection.
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