The global Internet of Things (IoT) market could be worth as much as $7.1 trillion (£4.2 trillion) by 2020, according to new research.
Industry analyst IDC has identified this particular technology trend as one to watch over the next few years, and reckons that the worldwide IoT install base could experience a compound annual growth rate of 17.5 per cent from 2013 through to 2020.
This figure takes into account all known areas of the market, including system shipments, infrastructure, applications, platforms, security, analytics and their associated costs.
"The worldwide IoT market is exploding, and IDC's research examines the full breadth of the IoT ecosystem," said IDC's Carrie MacGillivray. "IoT solutions are at the heart of IDC's view of ... the four pillars — mobility, social business, big data/analytics, and cloud — resulting in millions of applications available to billions of end points."
While many consumers are already excited by the prospect of IoT and the always-connected world, IDC says that businesses are exhibiting similar levels of enthusiasm, due to potential streamlining and financial benefits.
However, they also need to consider the many security risks that IoT can bring with it.
"Businesses are taking the necessary steps to gain a deeper understanding of IoT and the overall value," Vernon Turner of IDC said. "Technology vendors are evolving their solutions in a supply-driven market that's edging toward becoming a more demand-driven market."