The Internet of Things (IoT) will remain fragmented until at least 2018, with no dominant ecosystem, providers or technical model to set industry standards, according to Gartner.
Gartner research director Alfonso Velosa said in the analyst firm's Predict 2015: The Internet of Things report that IT leaders will need to find ways to make use of the IoT from multiple providers and sources that are future proof.
"Many standards and ecosystems for the IoT are still in development and some of the vendors and ecosystems may fail during the working life of current IoT projects," he said.
"This is especially critical if the project involves infrastructure that may be in the field for decades."
Despite this Gartner predicts that 4.9 billion connected devices will be in use by 2015, rising by 30 percent compared with 2014, and will hit 25 billion by 2020.
A major element in this proliferation of IoT devices will be the connected car. Gartner forecasts that 250 million vehicles will have some form of wireless connectivity in the next five years.
This will have a dramatic effect on in-car technology, enabling new automated driving capabilities and services to be added into vehicles with IoT connectivity.
Examples of this can be seen in a Mercedes concept of a luxury driverless car (pictured) revealed at CES 2015.
James Hines, research director at Gartner, explained that the growth of connected in-car technology will influence surrounding technologies.
"The increased consumption and creation of digital content within the vehicle will drive the need for more sophisticated infotainment systems, creating opportunities for application processors, graphics accelerators, displays and human-machine interface technologies," he said.
Hines noted that the relationship between the IoT and connected cars will open up new business models involving car use and ownership, especially in urban areas.
Connected cars will play a major part in the IoT, but concepts such as the connected kitchen will also harness the internet to directly benefit a range of industries, including retail, healthcare and insurance.
Gartner predicts that the connected kitchen with multiple devices such as fridges and cookers networked together will contribute to "at least 15 percent savings in the food and beverage industry".
Satish R.M., principal research analyst at Gartner, explained that this will be achieved through big data analytics.
"A real-time inventory data collection from sensors related to kitchen ingredients enables automated generation and ordering of shopping lists, resulting in a streamlined and efficient inventory and optimised supply chain management," he said.
UK digital minister Ed Vaizey has urged the nation to become a leader in the IoT revolution and Ofcom on Tuesday outlined the efforts it will undertake to try and help drive the UK's IoT growth.
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