Internet of Things: From tech buzz to business value

Twittering toothbrushes, connected refrigerators and digital dishwashers. A few years ago, the forecasts said billions and billions more things will be connected. But although a lot of stuff has certainly been connected, we are not quite where we thought then we would be by now. On the other hand, many companies and businesses have embraced IoT; according to a new report from Telia Company, four out of ten in the Nordics and Baltics have IoT on the agenda.

When Telia released the first Connected Things report five years ago, the prediction was that the IoT market would grow by 30 percent by 2018. The correct answer turned out to be 15 percent.

“We, and many others, thought that connected things in the home would account for the biggest IoT growth. But following video games, loudspeakers and tablets, many things are still waiting to be connected, says Björn Hansen, Head of Telia IoT, Telia Company.

Companies are taking the lead

Instead, it is companies and businesses that have taken the lead position. According to the report, 39 percent of companies in the Nordics and Baltic have implemented or are considering implementing some type of IoT solution in their operations. And four areas stand out when it comes to IoT and digitalization in businesses: increased efficiency in resource management, increased process efficiency, driving innovation in new areas and driving innovation within the current business.

"Nordic and Baltic companies are the most connected in Europe, and they are good at improving productivity, efficiency, innovation and customer value with the help of technology. But we have ways to go, we have just scratched the surface of the potential that comes with digital transformation,” says Björn Hansen.

Telia's report shows that today, the Nordic and Baltic IoT market turns over almost 20 billion Euro. If the growth rate of 15 percent per year continues, IoT will reach 38 billion in 2022. The largest growth is in connected health (289 percent), connected cars (225 percent) and connected cities (140 percent). Connected buildings account for the largest turnover, with about 35 percent of the market.

"As more and more vehicles, buildings and eventually whole cities are connected, we can use resources more effectively, urban life becomes a little easier and the environment better. It's technology at its best,” Björn Hansen says.

About the Connected Things Report

Every year, Telia examines IoT development in the Nordics and Baltics. This year's report has been produced with Northstream, and the material is based in part on interviews with 299 companies throughout the region.