Skip to main content

Billions of IoT devices will come online by next year

(Image credit: Image Credit: Melpomene / Shutterstock)

The number of internet-connected devices (opens in new tab) will jump by a fifth within a year, fuelled mostly by connected cars and utility devices. This is according to market analysts Gartner, which say we’ll have a total of 5.8 billion internet-connected devices by 2020.

By the end of this year, we’ll have 4.8 billion internet-connected devices (opens in new tab) in use, a 21.5 per cent increase year-on-year. Basically, the number of IoT devices will be seeing a steady, 20-ish per cent growth for two consecutive years.

Most of the new devices will be utilities (1.17 billion this year, 1.37 billion next year), followed by security cameras and similar security solutions.

“Electricity smart metering, both residential and commercial will boost the adoption of IoT among utilities,” said Peter Middleton, senior research director at Gartner. “Physical security, where building intruder detection and indoor surveillance use cases will drive volume, will be the second largest user of IoT endpoints in 2020.”

We can also expect connected lighting services (opens in new tab) as well as automotive and healthcare industries, to see significant growth in the number of internet-connected devices.

“Overall, end users will need to prepare to address an environment where the business units will increasingly buy IoT-enabled assets without policies for support, data ownership or integration into existing business applications,” said Alfonso Velosa, research vice president at Gartner. “This will require the CIO’s team to start developing a policy and architecture-based approach to support business units’ objectives, while protecting the organisation from data threats.”

North America, western Europe and Greater China will be the three main regions to drive growth in the industry.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.