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The Internet of Things: Is it the Next Economic Revolution?

Updated on October 30, 2017

The Internet of Things is predicted to be worth $267 billion by 2020. It will change the way that all governments, businesses and consumers interact with the physical world. And more importantly, it will change the global jobscape, completely transforming our economy.

From cost-savings and increase in productivity in the business world to leading the way for smart energy, smart farming and smart cities, there are so many ways that the IoT can be financially beneficial.

The Internet of Things is believed, by experts, to be the next economic revolution and here’s why:

The World Will be Powered by Intelligent Machines

In the 1700s and 1800s, we had the Industrial Revolution which saw our world being powered by machinery. And from the 1960s to the 2000s, we had the Technological Revolution, which was powered by computers.

Today, we witness both of these combine forces to bring us intelligent machinery. Connected, self-learning, smart devices that will change our lives. Through IoT and smart tech, every industry will benefit.

Intelligent machines will be able to help us work more efficiently and the manufacturing industry in particular will be able to streamline processes, and improve systems using valuable data. This fantastic infographic from RS Components shows us exactly how the combined power of machines and computers, and the growth of smart machinery, will affect our economy:


Economic Impact & Predicted Income Gains

The improvements that can be made within manufacturing will also spread into other industries, including agriculture, energy management and more. Many predict that streamlined processes and improved efficiency will provide businesses with the economical growth as seen in the Industrial Revolution.

Whilst some employees are worried about the impact that the Internet of Things, robotics and A.I may have on job roles, the overall view is that the IoT revolution is set to increase work opportunities. As with previous revolutions, the end result could be increased household incomes and improved living standards for people all over the world.

The infographic, as shared by RS Online, shows that in the U.S, an estimated GDP per capita of up to $79,500 by 2030 could be gained, based on a low estimate. Taking in other external factors, a high estimate could see that jumping to $86,500, which is $20,000 more than the estimated GDP without the Internet of Things.

According to Forbes, the economic impact includes the following:

  • B2B spending on IoT technologies, apps and solutions will reach €250B ($267B) by 2020

  • Spending on IoT applications is predicted to generate €60B ($64.1B) by 2020

  • IoT Analytics spending is predicted to generate €20B ($21.4B) by 2020

Smarter Cities and Smarter Homes

Another way that the IoT will revolutionise modern society is the prospect of smart cities and smart homes. Through connected technology, we can make towns and cities safer, cleaner and greener. Ultimately, homes and cities will become much more sustainable, reducing our carbon footprint and reducing average spend on energy bills and dramatically cutting consumption.

Technology such as smart traffic lights can help to minimise congestion on roads, keeping everyday commutes as efficient as possible. Smarter roads mean time and money saved, a lesser need for costly maintenance and a better economy as a result.

Small Businesses and Startups Will Grow

The Internet of Things will also see small businesses and startups grow in a way like never before. So this is a great time for entrepreneurs to bring their business ideas to life.

In a new report from BI Intelligence, it is revealed that businesses will be the top adopter of IoT solutions.

There are three ways in which the IoT can improve their bottom line; by lowering operating costs, by increasing productivity, and by providing data to expand new markets or develop products. And as small businesses make up such a large percentage of all employer firms, their success can really help to bolster the economy on a local, regional or national level.

Other takeaways from the report are:

  • 34 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020 (up from 10 billion in 2015)

  • IoT devices will account for 24 billion and traditional computing devices (smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc.) will account for 10 billion.


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