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As consumers and companies embrace the Internet of Things, the movement is expected to put more pressure on networks and likely to be a major contributor to a multi-billion enterprise networking market.
The global enterprise networking market is expected to soar 61% to $64.6 billion in revenue by 2024, according to a recently released Grand View Research report. Driving this substantial growth from $40.1 billion in revenue last year is increasing wireless adoption and a growing base of mobile internet devices, key components of the rapidly growing Internet of Things (IoT) industry.
Most of the focus on IoT has been on the 21 billion devices expected to be connected by 2020, which run from wireless home thermostats to building management systems for enterprises. However, it is going to be the networks that transfer all that wireless communication and data between IoT devices, mobile devices, and mothership computers that process the data.
It is the networks, after all, that will assist in unlocking the potential of IoT, observed a TechTarget research report.
"The Internet of Things is a very powerful concept," Ted Ross, CIO for the city of Los Angeles, told TechTarget. "I think if we approach this in an intelligent fashion, we can reap many benefits. But if you don't have a strategy around it, it becomes unmanaged chaos."
That is where the enterprise networks step in to provide that support to the IoT strategy. Software-defined networking (SDN), for one, is expected to be a "critical enabler" of IoT, Jeff Reed, vice president of the enterprise infrastructure and solutions group for Cisco Systems, noted in a commentary he wrote for Network World.
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Software-defined networking, according to the Grand View Research report, will have a considerable presence in the router and switch market as switch manufacturers make their hardware more accessible via Application Program Interfaces (APIs).
SDN is designed to provide a simple process for network provisioning of IoT devices using predefined plug-and-play set-up policies, according to Network World.
While the amount of revenue that the networking industry is expected to capture in the coming years from IoT is impressive, it is dwarfed by IoT's overall contribution to the global economy -- an estimated $6.2 trillion by 2025, according to report from research firm McKinsey & Co.