There will be no overarching IoT regulation. Specific use cases will gain more attention than others, e.g. citizen surveillance and autonomous vehicles will be more heavily regulated than the Industrial Internet. Consumer data will get most regulatory attention, while smart speakers could be the driver for more widespread home automation.

Listed below are the leading TMT trends in IoT, as identified by GlobalData.

IoT is here to stay

IoT has not sparked the business revolution that was promised. Rather, adoption has been incremental. However, it is here to stay, and the transition to IoT-based business models is inexorable. The residential sector is harder to predict, given the past failings of the automated home market. However, Google and Amazon will drive this market to maturity. Global spending on IoT in 2020 will total $195bn.

It’s all about the transition

Five years ago, the tech industry predicted that IoT would force a rapid and fundamental change in the way companies do business. This revolution did not materialise. Rather, industries are gradually transitioning. Service-based subscriptions will replace one-off sales. Companies will structure contracts based on customer outcomes or service delivery. Subscriptions to data-related ancillary services, such as product monitoring, will increase.

Is there now a killer app for the automated home?

For over two decades, the automated home industry has failed to achieve the ubiquity that was promised. Smart speakers may be the catalyst the industry needed. Devices like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home are becoming the de facto automated home hub. Both Amazon and Google will grow their ecosystems in 2020, and both will struggle to contain media reports of personal data monetisation.

5G expectations require patience

Desperate for the next billion-dollar opportunity, telcos have been ploughing capital into their marketing budgets for years. 2020 is the year 5G rollouts begin in earnest, but its impact on IoT will be limited. Rollouts will focus on areas of dense population, and different countries will adopt the technology at different rates. An important component of 5G for IoT is network slicing, which won’t be available until 2021 at the earliest.


Increasing the number of connected devices increases the attack surface for malicious actors. Increasing the risk of cyberattacks increases the need to protect organisations. Cybersecurity is the most important theme in IoT. The number of state-sponsored cyberattacks will increase in 2020, as will efforts to protect against them.

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By GlobalData

This is an edited extract from the TMT Predictions 2020 – Thematic Research report produced by GlobalData Thematic Research.