The Internet of Things market is expected to be worth $3 trillion (£2.3tn) by 2025 as the number of connected devices grows almost five-fold.
The annual report by Machina Research forecast that spending on the IoT would leap significantly from the $750 billion (£577bn) revenue seen in 2015.
The IoT refers to devices which collect data. That data can then be harvested and analysed and the results applied to improve many areas of life, including business outcomes.
The implications of the rise in the IoT for society are almost unfathomable, a BusinessCloud roundtable on the subject found.
The total number of IoT connections is expected to grow from six billion in 2015 to 27bn in 2025, generating more than two zettabytes of data a year – around two billion terabytes.
“It’s a $3 trillion market, which is very substantial, simply because IoT is starting to incorporate so much of what we might previously have thought of as IT,” Matt Hatton, CEO of Machina Research, told InformationWeek.
“As usual, China and the US vie to be the biggest markets.”
He said that it was time businesses began to take the IoT and Big Data seriously.
“Because it will be fundamentally transformative, IoT will be driven by more senior management than previous similar projects,” he added.
“It will also be critical to integrate IoT deployments with other back office IT systems. That’s what drives the value of IoT.”
Manufacturers have been warned that design flaws could allow hackers to take control of vehicles in the connected world of the future.
Security is also a massive concern to businesses as employees increasingly turn to smartphones, tablets and laptops which can be accessed remotely.
Hatton offered this advice: “Identify specific threats and act proportionately, pick your partners carefully as the chain is only as strong as the weakest link, and ensure that the impact of the inevitable breach is mitigated.
“Enterprises must also take note of examples of bad practice, particularly related to human error.
“We expect that a lot of buyers of IoT services will ultimately decide that it’s too complex to manage this all themselves.
“As a result they will turn to a trusted third party for IoT security, which presents a great opportunity for someone.”