Smart cities are ideal breeding grounds for IoT growth in India and globally

10 June 2019 4 min. read

As Internet of Things continues to permeate various aspects of daily life and market functions alike, analysts are now examining the value of the technology for developing solutions. In India, these applications are being assessed primarily in the context of smart cities, according to KPMG. 

The Smart Cities Mission in India has not only made great strides in terms of urban development across India, but has simultaneously accelerated the adoption of a number of Industry 4.0 technologies. The principle behind smart cities is to enhance efficiency through greater connectivity.

A number of contemporary technologies are relevant in this regard, including data analytics, automation and artificial intelligence (AI). One field that has a particularly strong impact on the functioning of smart cities is Internet of Things (IoT), given its role in enhancing the connectivity in mobile devices.

IoT connected devices worldwide

The technology has a number of applications in transport, urban development and a number of other domains. According to Big Four accounting and advisory firms, these applications have brought about substantial growth in the IoT market across India. 

“Adoption of smart solutions has gained a large traction in the ‘Smart City’ initiative across India. With a large volume of sensor- based infrastructure, citizen centric solutions, big data analytics solutions being taken up in most smart cities, the Internet of Things ecosystem provides the right platform to manage and monitor modern urban landscapes,” explains Ramendra Verma, Partner and Head of Government Advisory at KPMG.

Growth of the IoT market in India corresponds with IoT growth across the world, which has ballooned over the last few years. Where the total number of IoT connected devices across the globe stood at just over 15 billion in 2015, there are currently just under 27 billion connected devices in the world.

Emerging levers driving IoT in smart cities

By 2025, KPMG predicts that this figure will cross the 75 billion mark. Large shares of this technology will be deployed in the functioning of smart cities. In this regard, the report predicts that the economic value extracted from IoT on a yearly basis is likely to be anywhere between $4 trillion and $11 trillion by 2025.

The rising integration of IoT technology within urban development is the result of targeted government initiatives. The Smart Cities Mission is an example of this. The scheme has connected local government officials and led to the creation of Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), designed to solve urban planning issues using IoT.

The report states some of the applications that IoT has for smart cities. These include mobile internet, AI, cybersecurity, edge computing, predictive analysis, cognitive computing and digital literacy. The range of applications has led to the implementation of IoT within smar city planning across the globe.

Share of smart cities in global IoT investment

In the Americas, for instance, smart cities account for 34% of the investment in IoT technology, as is the case in Europe. In the Asia Pacific region, this number drops to 18%. Other popular investment areas include connected industry, connected buildings, and connected transportation.

“However, success in implementing and sustaining smart cities will take more than slick applications, connected devices and advanced analytics; it will require a strong adherence to customer centricity, support in standardisation, development of regulatory frameworks and penetration of equitable digital dexterity,” concludes Verma.