Pandemic Hits IoT Spending


Internet of Things (IoT) sales, like those of many other technologies, have been hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, though there has been some recent improvement, according to a new IoT spending forecast from International Data Corporation (IDC).

The update to IDC’s previously issued Worldwide Internet of Things Spending Guide shows IoT spending growing 8.2% from 2019 to $742 billion in 2020, down from the previous forecast of a 14.9% growth rate.

The research firm predicts that IoT spending will return to double-digit growth rates in 2021 and achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3% over the 2020-2024 forecast period.

For now, industries most affected by the pandemic-driven economic downturn are those that are cutting their planned IoT spending the most, according to IDC, though most will still spend more on the technology than they did in 2019.

Personal and consumer services, which include hotels, theme parks, casinos, and movie theaters, will be the only industry with a decline in IoT spending this year, down 0.1% from last year. The industries with the slowest actual growth in IoT spending are expected to be discrete manufacturing (4.3% growth), resource industries including oil and gas (5.0% growth), and transportation (5.7% growth). All are expected to return to double-digit IoT spending increases in 2021.

“Although the current pandemic forced many organizations to pause some innovative IoT deployments, IoT will be a key ‘return to growth’ accelerator with selected use cases being safe bets for end users to focus on in order to reach a new level of automation, remote everywhere experience, and hyper-connectivity,” said Andrea Siviero, IDC associate research director with the company’s customer insights and analysis group, in a prepared statement. 


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