Observers of emerging tech trends often seek the “hockey stick” moment, or that period when the market takes off following an explosion of activity. However, as TBR Principal Analyst Ezra Gottheil explains in his special report ‘Shrink-wrapped’ IoT will drive accelerating growth; an explosion of activity, or huge moment of growth, will likely never occur in the overall commercial IoT market. Gottheil writes:
Each IoT [Internet of Things] solution comes to market at a different time, meaning that as more packaged solutions become available and as some experience rapid growth, the total growth accelerates. The IoT market has been described as a “popcorn” market, in which each submarket “pops” at its own pace — some smaller markets grow explosively, but the total market (the “pot of popcorn”) expands more uniformly.
A popcorn market leads to slowly accelerating overall growth, generating frustration for companies that had anticipated rapid adoption. This is especially true in the IoT market for horizontal IT companies such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Dell EMC that are finding themselves selling into new markets, including product development, operational technology (OT) and data science organizations, instead of traditional IT department constituencies. Gottheil notes that for organizations that are seeking to benefit from IoT, the key to accelerating growth is developing packaged “off the shelf” — or “shrink-wrapped” — IoT solutions. The increased availability of IoT solutions targeting specific use cases and business processes in industry subverticals will be key to generating IoT-driven vendor revenue for the foreseeable future.