Niccolò Machiavelli, one of history’s great futurists, might have predicted the Internet of Things (IoT) when he wrote, “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”
The IoT’s early innovators, who have grappled with mixed overall demand, a lack of consistent standards, and other challenges, would agree that their road has been difficult. But, like other visionaries before them, they have persisted in establishing a new order because they see the promise ahead.
Both consumers and the media are fascinated by IoT innovations that have already hit the market. These “smart” devices have sensors that communicate seamlessly over the Internet with other devices or the cloud, generating data that make the world safer, more productive, and healthier.
In just a few years, some IoT devices have become standard, including thermostats that automatically adjust the temperature and production-line sensors that inform workshop supervisors of machine condition.
Now innovators want to enable more sophisticated IoT technologies for self-driving cars, drone-delivery services, and other advanced applications.
Although some analysts are excited about the IoT’s potential, others have argued that it is overhyped. We take a more balanced view, based on our extensive research as well as our direct work with IoT application developers and their customers.
Like the optimists, we believe that the IoT could have a significant, and possibly revolutionary, impact across society. But we also think that the lead time to achieve these benefits, as well as the widespread adoption of IoT applications, may take longer than anticipated.
The uptake of IoT applications could be particularly slow in the industrial sector, since companies are often constrained by long capital cycles, organizational inertia, and a shortage of talented staff that can develop and deploy IoT solutions.
For semiconductor companies, which are looking for new sources of revenue, the rate of IoT adoption is an important concern.
My point of view: i assume that – just like digital – households will be the early adaptors of IoT. But – just in B2B – sunk costs and capital investments will have an impact on growth and result in a much less steeper diffusion rate.