Today’s world is becoming evermore connected, and the recent boom of the Internet of Things (IoT) is testament to that fact. IoT refers to a network of electronic items that are embedded with advanced technologies which allow these items conect with and exchange data among one another. According to research by Politecnico University in Milan, 2017 was a significant year for the market of the Internet of Things (IoT), with growth in Italy 32% greater than the year before and totaling 3.7 billion euros. This trend is confirmed on the international market, where big players are taking a leading role as they dedicate an increasing number of managerial positions to IoT. Startups are also increasingly present in the IoT market, signaling widespread demand for these cutting-edge technologies. The big push comes predominantly from established companies whose applications rely on connectivity, as well as those dedicated to producing “smart” objects, such as vehicles or home appliances.

This widespread growth finds its roots in service providers that have been quick to incorporate these technologies. In fact, these players now hold 34% of the market value and have reached over 1.25 billion euro, an increase of 52% compared to 2016. These are “simple” services ranging from the installation of smart objects to sending push notifications to cloud data management. But it doesn’t stop there – more advanced services are beginning to occupy increasingly more of the market. And it is precisely these new, more advanced services that drive the growth of Italy’s IoT. There are numerous applications of IoT within the Italian market: companies, houses, cars, healthcare, agriculture, retail, the city itself.  Among the services that drove 2017’s growth, Smart Metering, meters for consumption metering, correct invoicing and management, ranked first, as a result of new rules for gas and the installation of smart electric meters, and now account for 26% of the market. The phenomena of Smart Cars – a sector encompassing cars connected by a common network, accident prevention infrastructures, new insurance models, and methods to gather traffic information – now represents 22% of the market, driven by 11 million interconnected cars at the end of 2017. The percentage of the IoT market now held by advancements for Smart Buildings – for example the automatic management of systems which save energy or monitor the safety of those inside – is at 14%. IoT solutions for logistics to support transport such as the management of company fleets or satellite burglar alarms are now valued at 360 million euros. “Smart city” innovations designed for the monitoring and management of public transport, street lighting, parking, and cleaning the environment are now valued at 320 million in the Italian market. Recently, innovations for your Smart Home such as automatic management systems which reduce household energy consumption have enjoyed growth of over 35%. The star in this grand evolution of technology is the adoption of sensors combined with a progressive slimming-down of these devices, resulting in a reduction of energy consumption and costs.

Market growth, technological evolution and the startup boom are clear evidence that IoT is fundamental for companies involved in digital systems innovation. Not only that, but IoT is extremely relevant to the public administration and the public at large. The growth forecasts extend to all sectors, but according to the experts those most effected in the immedite future are Smart Metering, thanks to new regulations requiring the use of second generation gas and electric meters; Smart Cars, as new regulations are pushing to require that cars be equipped with an emergency call device (a need that may be met by IoT); Smart Home innovations as they continue to enjoy healthy, stable growth; and lastly, industrial IoT due to strong incentives recently created by the National Industry 4.0 Plan.