Manufacturing will dominate IoT spend this year

Spend on IoT is seeing double-digit growth, and could account for US$1 trillion by 2022.
4 February 2019

Manufacturing will dominate the IoT spend this year. Source: Shutterstock

Worldwide spend on Internet of Things (IoT) technology could hit US$745 billion in 2019, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

That would represent a 15.4 percent hike on that spent in 2018, and it’s said that spend could maintain a double-digit growth until 2022 when it could surpass the US$1 trillion mark.

The majority of this year’s spend is within the manufacturing industry— more specifically in discrete manufacturing (US$119 billion) and process manufacturing (US$78 billion)— where uses of the technology will be focused on supporting operations and production asset management.  

The transportation will also spend big on IoT, with more than half of a projected US$71 billion channeled into freight monitoring and fleet management. The utilities sector is forecasted to account for US$61 billion in spend.

Breaking that spend down into use cases paints a similar picture, with manufacturing operations taking US$100 billion, followed by production asset management (US$44.2 billion) and freight monitoring ($41.7 billion).

While industry will account for the meat of IoT spending, interestingly consumers could spend a respectable US$108 billion. That’s owed to the rise in the technology’s use for smart homes (US$44.1 billion)— home automation and smart appliances, in particular— and personal wellness and connected vehicle infotainment.  

With the above figures in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the IDC believes IoT services could account for the largest technology category in 2019. Some US$258 billion will go into both traditional IT and installation services and non-traditional device and operational services.

Hardware, including the purchasing of modules and sensor, will account for more than US$250 billion, and while software sits behind that at US$154 billion, it will see the fastest growth. IoT connectivity spend will total US$83 billion.

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the countries spending most on IoT this year will be tech rivals the United States and China, at 2019 at $194 billion and $182 billion respectively.

They’ll be followed by Japan (US$65.4 billion), Germany (US$35.5 billion), Korea (US$25.7 billion), France (US$25.6 billion), and the United Kingdom (US$25.5 billion).