According to recent study conducted by Juniper research we are seeing just the tip of the iceberg with connected devices in the Industrial IoT (IIoT) space. The study predicts that by 2023, Industrial IoT will have over 46 billion active industrial end point connections. They are stating that this will coincide with the fifth phase of IoT adoption. The following article does a good job of detailing each of the five phases of IoT transformation, along with the timeline and predictions of the number of connected devices at each phase.
The path to substantial deployment of IoT on industrial applications continues to be slow and full of roadblocks. Its most significant adoption so far has been as a replacement of the previous GSM Machine-to-Machine (M2M) connections, mostly carried out with cellular technology. M2M is still being used in many industrial applications that require the reliability and security of GSM, a technology that has been around for over 35 years.
Evidently, the data and management requirements that existed 35 years ago are not the same today. The number of connected machines has grown exponentially and so has the number of sensors and actuators installed in those machines.
Furthermore, a new wave of connected devices, fueled by the reduced cost and size of communications hardware and storage, and the data-hungry applications of today require a new way to communicate with those devices. Technologies such as LTE-M, Zigbee, NB-IoT and HaLow solve the connectivity problems. The upcoming 5G networks will also offer additional connectivity benefits for billions of devices.