The Explosive Growth of IoT Devices and What It Means for the Future

As a consultant dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed, I‘m always exploring emerging technologies with potential to empower small and medium-sized businesses. One that stands out today is the Internet of Things (IoT).

You’re likely familiar with consumer IoT devices like smart speakers, lights, and appliances that are driving the consumer IoT market towards 1 billion shipments in 2024 according to IDC research.

But it’s the staggering growth in industrial and commercial IoT connections that should excite entrepreneurs. These business-focused IoT devices are projected to increase from 17.7 billion in 2020 to 36.8 billion by 2025, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26%!

So how can your small or medium business tap into the IoT revolution? Here’s a breakdown of the opportunities by industry.

IoT Devices in Manufacturing

Industrial manufacturing leads IoT adoption and could have 42% CAGR through 2028 according to Grand View Research. By connecting equipment and assets to the internet, sensors enable:

  • Predictive maintenance to cut downtime
  • Automating workflows for greater efficiency
  • Tracking products to optimize inventories and logistics
  • Remotely monitoring facilities for safety and security

With capabilities like these, IoT can drive 20-50% gains in productivity for small manufacturers.

IoT Devices in Agriculture

Gartner predicts 75% of commercial agriculture will use some element of IoT by 2025, with a market size reaching $15 billion. Connected sensors measure:

  • Soil moisture and nutrients
  • Crop development
  • Weather and microclimates
  • Livestock vitals and location

These insights help agribusinesses boost yields, manage variable costs, and mitigate risks.

IoT Devices in Transportation and Logistics

Adding IoT telemetry and tracking to vehicles enables small transportation and distribution firms to:

  • Optimize routes and fuel economy
  • Predict maintenance needs
  • Improve safety and regulatory compliance
  • Provide transparency to shippers

By leveraging vehicle IoT data, smaller operators can better compete with larger rivals.

Declining Costs Expand IoT Access for Small Businesses

In the past, only large corporations could invest in enterprise IoT. But maturing technologies and economies of scale have caused sensors and monthly connectivity fees to plummet.

With lower barriers to entry, even small companies can afford proven IoT devices to drive operational gains across factors like:

  • Efficiency
  • Agility
  • Resilience
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability

As an entrepreneur looking to take your business to the next level, now is the time to explore if and how IoT can help you compete in the digital economy. Reach out if you need any guidance. The opportunities are real, but having an expert assess where IoT can best impact your organization is invaluable.