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Backing IoT is a solid strategy for 2021

There are more user cases for the internet of things emerging and it is seen by those in the industry as an area for the channel to concentrate on more

One of the growth opportunities for the channel in 2021 will be the internet of things (IoT) and the expectations are that, twinned with a growth in 5G, more opportunities will emerge for partners.

Earlier this week, Graeme Watt, CEO of Softcat, called out IoT as one of the areas that was helping to drive growth and was something to be positive about going forward.

Watt added that even with the backdrop of Covid-19, the reasons for investment remained in place and firms would have to resume investments soon.

“These companies need to spend on technology,” he said. “They need to be mobile-ready and we are seeing that in many companies already, and they need to be cloud-ready and they need all of their technologies to be secure, so it’s just a question of time.”

Oliver Tucker, co-founder and CEO of Wireless Logic, is also convinced there is a big channel play emerging on the IoT front as the data that is created and shared by sensors increases significantly.

“IoT is growing by 15-20% per annum and it is a big enough pie for Wireless Logic to add value,” he said, adding that the company worked with a couple of thousand partners and was making sure it rewarded those that chose it.

As well as handling the data that the devices and sensors generated, there was an ongoing need to add security, said Tucker.

“Security is an increasingly important aspect,” he said, adding that Wireless Logic had been educating partners and users around the need to secure the data being generated by IoT sensors.

One cause of challenges, and opportunities, is the ever-expanding base of IoT connections, ranging from cars to coffee machines, said Tucker, pointing out that this gave the channel more chances to engage with customers.

“There are so many different applications and we hear about new user cases all the time,” he said, adding that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had accelerated some of that activity.

“IoT is a lot broader than people think and it is about enabling things to be more efficient. It is embryonic and there is huge growth [potential].”

But not all verticals have fared well during the pandemic, with IoT sales to sectors such as hospitality and tourism obviously down. But this has been compensated for, with spending holding firm in other areas. IDC indicated recently that overall IoT spending would be down on previous expectations this year, before bouncing back in 2021.

The analyst house is expecting double-digit growth in 2021 and the market should hit a compound annual growth rate of 11.3% over the next four years.

Andrea Siviero, associate research director with IDC’s customer insights and analysis group, said: “Although the pandemic forced many organisations to pause some innovative IoT deployments, IoT will be a key return-to-growth accelerator with selected use cases being safe bets for end-users to focus on in order to reach a new level of automation, remote everywhere experience and hyper-connectivity.”

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