The Internet of Things as an enabling technology

The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the platforms and technologies that allow remote devices to share real-time data, changing the way many industries work. It has allowed the development of new infrastructures and services, impacting the way we move about and how we monitor our health. For these reasons, we understand IoT as a technological development disrupting other industries, and we believe it is crucial to have data about its structure and the companies that make it up. In this post, we will be introducing our taxonomy and some findings derived from our RTIC.

A taxonomy for IoT

We chose to address IoT from an applications standpoint, as far as most of the technologies in the field are based on sensors.  Therefore, we have looked into sectorial applications of IoT.

  • Connectivity Platforms: these are the companies that set up systems for functioning IoT applications. We found 52 companies.
  • e-Healthcare: targets companies applying IoT to healthcare management and patient monitoring. We captured 154 companies in this field.
  • Industrial IoT: this category addresses the application of IoT in industrial settings. We found 90 companies offering proprietary products.
  • Energy Management: searches for the companies that have used IoT technologies for metering and administrating energy usage. We identified 143 companies in this field.
  • Smart Buildings: illustrates the application of IoT technologies to the development of smart buildings and homes, which can monitor environmental and safety variables. We captured 334 related companies.
  • Smart Cities and Transport: this category targets companies applying IoT to the development of smart urban infrastructure. We identified 165 companies.

IoT as a relational sector

We find that IoT companies have developed tight relationships across industry verticals. The chord diagram below will help you explore them.

The diagram informs that the segments sharing larger numbers of companies are Smart Buildings and Energy Management. This illustrates that plenty of smart building systems offer energy management products. However, the most relevant case is that of Connectivity Platforms. Its companies build 85 connections with other segments, meaning that several companies relate with more than two verticals at the same time. This pattern presents Connectivity Platforms as integral for all IoT applications. Specifically, it has the closest relationship with Smart Cities and Transport, with which it shares 31 of the total 52 companies in the category. 

Besides, our data shows that IoT companies are found in all other RTICs. For instance, 88 IoT companies are present in Cyber Security and Cryptographic Authentication, 275 were captured in our AI RTIC, while 203 are part of our Net Zero supply chain. Therefore, this finding supports our approach to IoT as an enabling technology for other industries. 

Financial Insights

Our platform estimates and overall net worth of £14.3bn in 2020, and a total number of employees of 106k. Interestingly, most of this value has been produced in the last 5 years, since our platform records 2014’s net worth at £3.2bn and a total number of employees of 16.7k. This increase partly is explained by the rapid growth of the sector during the last decades.

The line chart above visualises the growth of IoT, overall and by segments. In the last 10 years, the size of the sector has grown a rate of 188%. However, it is important to highlight that the largest segment (Smart Buildings) is not the one that has the largest contribution to IoT’s net worth.

While most segments record a estimated net worth value ranging between £200 million and £600 million in the last 5 years, e-Healthcare was valued £2.8bn in 2014 and £14.2bn in 2020, generating most of the sector’s value. Interestingly, one of the most valuable products in this segment is cyber security -and other IoT security features- for patient data. This finding goes in line with increasing worries on data privacy, highlighting the sensitivity of medical records.

Wrapping up IoT

Our IoT RTIC has helped us understand the role of IoT for emergent economies. In short, our work identifies IoT as providing technological developments to other sectors. The capture and update of real-time data are having great impacts over manufacturing, medicine and the construction of smarter cities and buildings. Therefore, we can say that IoT is becoming increasingly present in everyday life. For this reason, the development of security products for IoT infrastructures is a priority for the industry. Altogether, IoT technologies provide information about ourselves, contributing towards efficiency and wellbeing.


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