As industrial companies have invested in the Internet of Things, many have found implementation more challenging than they anticipated, dampening their expectations slightly. The red dashed lines indicate our 2016 findings about customer expectations for IoT proofs of concept and implementation. By 2018, reality had outpaced those expectations. But hopes for 2020 are tempered: the 2018 predictions come in lower than those red dashed lines from 2016. Even so, long-term expectations remain high. With an estimated 20 billion devices connected by 2020, there’s little doubt of the potential for technology to vastly improve efficiency, and no doubt that the IoT will have to manage it.
Michael Schallehn and Christopher Schorling are partners with Bain’s Technology practice, based in Silicon Valley and Frankfurt, respectively.