The Internet of Things (IoT), long viewed as a technology impacting consumers, will instead be more greatly adopted by the enterprise in 2015, according to Deloitte’s 14th edition of “Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions.” According to the report, enterprises will be the major users of IoT, purchasing 60 percent of one billion devices expected to be sold during the year. This shift adds a second dimension to the prevailing industry focus on IoT as a trend led primarily by consumer adoption.

“We are entering an extraordinary period where consumer technologies are finding increased adoption in the enterprise space. Our data indicates an exponential increase in interest in the IoT by the enterprise, which could have a profound impact on the way business is conducted,” said Eric Openshaw, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. technology leader for Deloitte’s technology, media and entertainment and telecommunications industry practice in the Americas. “Strong enterprise adoption of the IoT could prove to be a huge opportunity for both vendors and retail consumers alike. The amount of data we will see generated from connected devices will pave the way to measure interactions in a way not witnessed before. And, as a result, will allow organizations to understand customer behaviors and purchase patterns in a whole new light.”

A Shift in the “consumerization” of IT and a big year for smartphone upgrades
The report also finds that in 2015 enterprises will lead purchases of 3D printing and drones, signaling a shift away from the consumerization of IT predominant in the last decade that spiked with consumers’ moderate investment in wearable technology like smart glasses.

2015 should also be a watershed moment for the smartphone market with smartphone upgrades expected to exceed one billion for the first time ever. The report predicts that 1.35 billion smartphones will sell worldwide in 2015, but over a billion of the overall devices sold will be upgrades for consumers who already have smartphones. While the length of the upgrade cycle may be increasing, improvements to smartphone technology and design will continue to drive growth for the market via upgrades.

TMT predictions that will have the greatest impact on the U.S. in 2015 include:

  1. The Internet of things really is things, not people – In 2015, over 60 percent of the one billion global wireless IoT devices will be bought, paid for and used by enterprises – despite media focus on consumers controlling their thermostats, lights and appliances (ranging from washing machines to tea kettles). The IoT-specific hardware will be worth $10 billion, but the big story is the enterprise services enabled by the devices: about $70 billion.
  2. The end of the consumerization of IT? – In 2015, the pendulum of technology adoption will begin to swing back to the enterprise market, reversing a decade long trend that went the other way – when mass adoption of technologies like large screen smartphones and tablets started with consumer adoption first.
  3. Drones: high-profile and niche – In 2015, drones will have multiple industrial and civil government applications. Deloitte predicts sales of non-military drones (also known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs), to be about 300,000 units, driving the installed base to over a million. Although consumers or prosumers will buy the majority, most of the real value will come from enterprise use.
  4. 3D printing is a revolution: Just not the revolution you think In 2015, nearly 220,000 3D printers will be sold worldwide, with a dollar value of $1.6 billion, but it is unlikely that there will be a “factory in every home.” Deloitte estimates about 80 percent of the value of all 3D printers will be for companies instead of consumers, meaning the real revolution will be in the enterprise market.
  5. For the first time, the smartphone upgrade market will exceed one billion – 1.35 billion smartphones will sell worldwide in 2015, but over a billion of them will be upgrades – new phones for those who already have one. The upgrade cycle may be lengthening, but screen size, speed, storage, software and design will continue to drive growth for smartphone refreshes.
  6. Contactless mobile payments (finally) gain momentum – The end of 2015 will mark the tipping point for the use of mobile phones for in-store payments around the world. It will be the first year in which the multiple prerequisites for mainstream adoption – satisfying financial institutions, merchants, consumers and device vendors – have been sufficiently addressed. In 2015, about 10 percent of the base of smartphones worldwide will be used to make an in-store payment at least once a month, compared to less than half a percent (led by early adopters in Japan) of about 450 million smartphones in mid-2014.
  7. Nanosats take off, but they don’t take over – By the end of 2015, over 500 nanosatellites (nanosats, under 10 kg in mass) will be in orbit. Nanosats are attractive for many reasons: they are cheaper than conventional satellites, lighter, easier to build and test, and easier to launch. Although increasingly capable of more complex tasks, they are likely to be additive to the existing large satellite market, and not replace it.
  8. Short form video: a future, but not the future, of television The total time spent watching online short-form video clips and other programming of less than 20 minutes in length, will represent less than 3 percent of all video seen in the year globally.  Deloitte does not expect short-form online content to usurp long-form traditional television and movie content. Shorter form content will grow, but it is unlikely to become the predominant video format, as measured by hours watched or revenues.
  9. The “generation that won’t spend” is spending on TMT – North American millennials will lead the way in 2015 and spend an average of $750 for content, both traditional and digital, with digital becoming the primary emphasis.
  10. Smartphone batteries: better but no breakthrough – Longer battery life is likely to remain a key factor for consumer’s choosing their next smartphone. The rechargeable, lithium ion (Li-Ion) battery technology used in all smartphones will improve only modestly in 2015, with no more than five percent greater unit charge or milliampere hours (mAh) compared to a 2014 model of the same dimensions and voltage.
  11. The connectivity chasm deepens as gigabit Internet adoption rockets – Globally, the number of homes with broadband Internet will grow by about 2 percent to 725 million, and average broadband speeds in most countries will increase by 20 percent. The gap between those with access to the fastest broadband speeds and those on basic speeds will continue to widen in 2015, providing a varied experience from home to home, especially for high bandwidth applications like streaming video.

Full details about the Global TMT Predictions are available here:

About Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice
Deloitte’s technology, media and telecommunications practice serves more than 1,400 clients in the U.S., including the vast majority of market category leaders across all sector segments. Deloitte practitioners, many with direct industry experience, deliver a breadth of services including professional audit, consulting, enterprise risk management, financial advisory and tax. The practice is also home to the Deloitte Center for the Edge, which conducts original research and develops substantive points of view for new corporate growth. The Silicon Valley-based Center helps senior executives make sense of and profit from emerging opportunities on the edge of business and technology.