Which countries are most prepared for Internet of Things development?

Internet of Things deployments happen at different speeds, depending on the industry (early movers include manufacturing, retail, oil and gas) but also depending on the regional and local context.

Think about the local regulations and government effectiveness, the local infrastructure (networks, cloud infrastructure,….), available resources, the innovation and investment climate and so forth. As the scale and maturity levels of Internet of Things deployments are growing, let’s take a look at the most prepared countries for the Internet of Things across the globe.

IoT preparedness in the G20 (except the EU)

IDC made a ranking of Internet of Things (IoT) development preparedness (the G20 Internet of Things Development Opportunity Index Ranking) that is based on 13 criteria which the company deems essential for sustainable IoT development.

IoT preparedness across the globe - G20 Internet of Things Development Opportunity Index Ranking

As IDC typically serves the IT industry, this way companies have a guide about where it’s interesting to invest or deploy IoT business initiatives. It’s clear that economic factors play a role as well. Note that IoT development preparedness is not the same as IoT maturity or actual IoT deployment degree.

The criteria include benchmarks regarding preparedness on a technological and business level. It is also important to note that IDC only looks at the G20 or the 20 richest countries in the world.

Why you need to look beyond the G20

There are certainly countries outside of that G20 where there is a high degree of maturity regarding the Internet of Things and where important deployments have been done.

While, again, development readiness is not the same as coverage, deployment degree or deployment readiness it certainly makes sense to look beyond the G20 and at infrastructure readiness, market maturity and market opportunity.

IoT maturity outside of the G20

Think about The Netherlands, for instance. The county has nationwide IoT coverage with two competing LPWAN technologies (LoRaWAN and Sigfox), has a solid cloud infrastructure and has several IoT deployments that are often mentioned. It’s not a coincidence we regularly see Dutch cases being presented at international IoT conferences.

And there are certainly others, who are not in the G20. If you just look at IoT network coverage and IoT research alone, even smaller countries such as Belgium are highly active and equipped (also with two nationwide deployed IoT LPWAN networks as in The Netherlands, which is really rather rare if you look across the globe). And there are still more.

IoT opportunities outside of the G20

There are also several countries where major growth is expected in IoT and that includes countries outside of the G20.

The Asia Pacific region, for instance, is a key growth market as every IoT company knows very well. And it isn’t just about the APAC countries who are listed (South Korea, Australia and Japan). Among others Singapore and Taiwan are important hubs but they aren’t members of the G20.

IoT connectivity across the globe

One area that is important is obviously connectivity. Today that is mainly LPWAN coverage for most applications or a mix of connectivity solutions, as is offered by companies such as Cisco as LPWAN is sometimes not fit or not enough for several use cases and applications.

The G20 Internet of Things Development Opportunity Ranking

As you know the G20 is composed in a somewhat weird way. It lists 19 individual countries with the addition of the European Union (member 20).

However, at the same time EU countries such as France (where several leading IoT firms such as Sigfox have their roots and significant IoT deployments are done by big industrial partners), Germany, Italy and the UK are among these 19 individual countries.

Here it’s important to mention as well that, for some reason, IDC did not include the EU in its so-called G20 Internet of Things Development Opportunity Ranking

Keeping all this in mind, below are the top 5 “IoT countries” according to IDC’s ranking, as updated on November 2nd, 2016.

  1. The United States
  2. South Korea
  3. The United Kingdom
  4. Australia
  5. Japan
G20 Internet of Things Development Opportunity Index Ranking 2016 except the EU - source IDC press release
G20 Internet of Things Development Opportunity Index Ranking 2016 except the EU – source IDC press release

According to the press release, “IDC predicts that the countries which score higher in the ranking will more likely have the magnitude of need for efficiencies that IoT solutions can create, will be more conducive for business and product innovation, and be more likely to have the mindset for and availability of technologies that align with IoT use cases.”

Companies who are looking for the reasons why the mentioned countries belong to the top 5 can read more in that press release.

With the “G20 Internet of Things Development Opportunity Index Ranking” also comes a report, entitled “G20 Nations and the IoT: A Comparative Assessment”.

On the report page, IDC’s Adam Wright writes that “not all countries are created equal, and sheer GDP size alone is not necessarily the best predictor of a country’s readiness for and ability to accelerate the development of the IoT.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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