Spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) has been forecast by research firm IDC to reach $1.4 trillion (£1 trillion) by 2021.

This year is also expected to see the market expand to more than $800 billion (£619 billion), reflecting growth of 16.7 per cent year on year.

According to the IDC report, manufacturing operations, freight monitoring, and production asset management are set to be the IoT use cases that will attract the largest investments in 2017.

Smart grid technologies for electricity, gas and water, and smart building technologies are also expected to see significant investments this year. While these use cases will remain the largest areas of IoT spending in 2021, smart home technologies are set to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.8 per cent over the five-year forecast.

IDC also revealed that airport facilities automation, electric vehicle charging, and in-store contextual marketing will see the fastest spending growth.

Carrie MacGillivray, vice president of Internet of Things and Mobility at IDC, said: “The discussion about IoT has shifted away from the number of devices connected. The true value of IoT is being realised when the software and services come together to enable the capture, interpretation, and action on data produced by IoT endpoints.”

Cross-Industry IoT investments, which IDC explained represent use cases common to all industries, such as connected vehicles and smart buildings, are expected to reach $86 billion (£66 billion) this year, placing them among the top segments throughout the five-year forecast.

It was also found that consumer IoT purchases will be the fourth largest market segment in 2017 at $62 billion (£50 billion), but expansion will see it become the third largest segment in 2021.

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