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What’s Next for the Internet of Things Concept: Learnings from Gartner Symposium 2013

By Amy Nyquist / November 4, 2013

I had the privilege of attending Gartner’s annual symposium in Orlando and found the content to be extremely valuable. The overall theme of the conference was that the “Nexus of Forces” (social, mobile, cloud and big data) is going to lead to everything being digitized in the future – otherwise known as the Internet of Things. While these are not new concepts, what I found particularly interesting was their projections about how disruptive these trends will be for all industries, not just traditional technology industries.

First, some key stats. By 2020 Gartner predicts that 83 percent of consumer device spending will be on mobile devices (only 17 percent on PC’s). Consumer device spend will be 80 percent of total device spend and half of first consumer device purchases will be a tablet. This alone probably doesn’t surprise you. But, what I found interesting is that 10 years ago mobile devices weren’t even a category. And by mobile devices Gartner doesn’t just mean smartphones and tablets. They predict that all things will become smart objects and that the Internet of Things will be a $309 billion category by 2020.

These trends will not only affect existing technology companies, but digitization will redefine virtually every industry and create new ones (i.e. telemedicine). For example, physical goods like cars, lawnmowers and window cleaners will operate themselves. Sensors will communicate when trash cans are full or plants need watering. Anything that isn’t electronic today – even chairs (Gartner used the term furniture-as-a service, i.e. subscriptions for smart, device embedded furniture) will become digitized creating new service, delivery and product opportunities.

For Digital River, this means a fundamental shift in the way products and services are purchased and paid for. Physical goods will be less about moving a product from point A to point B and instead sending information digitally to 3D printers for creation. Instead of one-time payments to purchase goods and services, revenue will be generated after the sale of products through subscription models, usage-based billing and other digital business models.

Do you agree with Gartner’s predictions for where the industry is headed? Please let us know in the comments field.

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