The Internet of Things (IoT) has taken the utilization of Internet to a different level altogether. It is not like any market that we have known thus far. Instead, it is more like a rapidly unfolding phenomenon that has its origin in the belief that technology can truly transform our lives.
According to Statista, the number of connected IoT devices will reach 31 billion by 2020. So, it makes sense to take a look at where the increasing IoT units will most likely go. Market research firms believe that the most important use cases of IoT (and therefore, investment opportunities) are in the following areas:
Connected Vehicles include Internet and WLAN, which enable connectivity and communication with smart devices. The software platform in connected cars is generally provided by either Alphabet or Apple. Increased connectivity is gradually giving way to fully-automated self-driving cars that should be operational in the 2020s.
According to MarketsandMarkets, the global connected car market is expected to witness compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.8% from 2017 to 2025 to reach $219.2 billion. Automakers and technology companies are largely working in collaboration to develop their own technology so that they can independently ship the cars.
Connected Homes include products like thermostats, IP/Wi-Fi cameras, smart locks, smart smoke and carbon dioxide detectors; smart home systems as well as smart switches, dimmers and outlets. The top technology players are Alphabet, Apple, and Amazon, which is piggybacking its Echo facilitator. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) estimates the connected home market to grow by more than 40% this year.
Wearables segment has a whole lot of players. Smart watches from Apple and Fitbit offer great functionalities. Garmin offers premium devices for the niche category of professional sportsmen. Microsoft and Samsung also offer fitness bands. The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) estimates that this segment will grow 4% in 2018.
Smart cities have been made smarter with the use of telecom networks, computers, software, storage, and audio-visual systems collectively called information and communication technology (ICT) on the one hand and IoT devices on the other. This interconnectedness is aimed at managing power and water supply, transportation systems and hospitals, educational institutions, and even facilitating better law enforcement.
Employees would most recommend SAP, ARM, Google, Samsara, Nvidia, Fortinet, Siemens and Cisco Systems to friends interested in working for a company providing IoT solutions in 2018. These 15 companies are the highest rated in their fields of expertise as defined by Computer Reseller News as of today, Tuesday, June 19, 2018.
Forbes readers’ most common requests center on who the best companies are to work for in high growth areas including IoT. The latest Computer Reseller News' 2018 Internet Of Things 50 list of companies is used to complete the analysis as it is an impartial, independent list aggregated based on CRN’s analysis and perspectives of the market. Using the CRN list as a foundation, the following analysis captures the best companies in their respective areas today.
Using the 2018 Internet Of Things 50 CRN list as a baseline to compare the Glassdoor scores of the (%) of employees who would recommend this company to a friend and (%) of employees who approve of the CEO, the following analysis was completed today. 18 companies on the list have very few (less than 20) or no Glassdoor reviews, so they are excluded from the rankings. Based on analysis of Glassdoor score patterns over the last four years, the lower the number of rankings, the more 100% scores for referrals and CEOs there are in a given company’s score. These companies, however, are included in the full data set available here. If the image below is not visible in your browser, you can view the rankings here.
Technology-enabled growth can come from many sources, but it’s rarely technology alone that spurs progress forward. In the case of the Internet of Things (IoT), the “things” are important, but it is the combination of their interconnectivity and the data they generate that delivers value. Early adopters of IoT are not leading just because they’re implementing these technologies first; they’re leading because of how they’re embracing IoT. Tesla, Nest and Medtronic are leveraging IoT-derived data to move their businesses forward in ways that were not possible just a few years ago.
With a goal to build autonomous vehicles, it’s no surprise that Tesla has heavily invested in IoT and artificial intelligence. In fact, all vehicles Tesla has ever sold were built with the potential to one day become self-driving. This means that as Tesla has grown so has the number of sensors on the road, which means millions of data streams have been, and continue to be, generated, collected and analyzed. With the sensor data it collects, Tesla can do something most car manufacturers can’t—remotely modify its products and provide customers with improved functionality via software updates, immediately, at no additional cost.
For example, during Hurricane Irma in September 2017, Tesla temporarily extended the range of the cars that were in the storm’s path by changing how the batteries were consumed. This helped their customers get to safety without needing to recharge as often. In another instance, Tesla was able to complete a mandated fix of charger plugs on more than 29,000 vehicles via a software update. This “over the air” fix was immediate and seamless, and saved its customers and the company countless hours that would have otherwise been spent with on-premise service at its dealerships. The lesson from Tesla: Planning for this level of upgrading via software is a good way to future-proof products.
Consumer product companies are also leveraging IoT-derived data to better serve their customers. For instance, Nest, maker of connected devices for the home such as thermostats, alarm systems and doorbells, enables its customers to check and control their devices from anywhere through a smartphone app. Nest extends the value of its products by learning from customer behaviors and adapting device functionality to user preferences. In the case of its thermostats, preferred temperatures and use patterns are recorded and analyzed over time and adjusted automatically to save energy. This has saved customers up to 12% on their heating bills and 15% on their cooling bills, or an estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year, according to independent studies.
Roughly half of the more than 500 executives surveyed said they have IoT programs in place, but only 42% of this segment said those initiatives were meeting or exceeding expectations. Clearly, having the right technology isn’t enough for IoT programs to succeed. To be able to make the most of IoT and the data these devices provide, companies also need to ensure they have a clear analytics strategy.
Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology and services, understands how data drives its future. It is an example of a company that has successfully transitioned from being a manufacturer to a company competing through data analytics. The company’s Medtronic Care Management Services (MCMS) division offers remote monitoring platforms that collect patient biometrics and symptom data. With the help of rules-driven algorithms, MCMS software can assemble patient health status and trigger corresponding alerts for potential clinical review.
By rigorously collecting, aggregating and analyzing patient data, the company can provide personalized care coordination and has been able to deliver the service to over 95,000 individuals. Additionally, by allowing clinicians to monitor their patients remotely and deliver the right care at the right time, MCMS is greatly reducing the burden on both patients and healthcare resources.