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The Internet of Things (IoT) is a global phenomenon. Aspiring cities on every continent are striving to become “smart”, full of intelligent buildings, connected by an advanced grid all, under the umbrella of the IoT movement. This emerging urban intelligence is optimising energy use, increasing safety and security, it’s even making us more healthy and productive.

Our latest report The Internet of Things in Smart Commercial Buildings 2016 to 2021 is a comprehensive exploration of the emerging sector, and goes into specific detail on the industry’s regional expansion. With decades of experience in evaluating the building services markets around the world Memoori has gained expertise in Building Environmental Control Systems, LED Lighting and Controls, Smart Grid, and Physical Security, which come together to create the Building Internet of Things (BIoT).

“In terms of market sizing by region in BIoT, the positions of the 3 largest markets will remain constant from 2015 to 2021, with Asia Pacific continuing to be the largest market with over a third of global sales by 2021, followed by North America share at 26.8% by 2021, then Europe’s share with just over 24%,” the report states.

The report goes further to suggest that both North American and European shares of the market will both shrink due to more rapid expansion of the Asia Pacific market, and growth in the markets of emerging economies in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. Asia Pacific, at 32.8% of overall market value in 2015, will grow further as a proportion of the total market by 2021, rising to represent 35.5% of the total.

However, there are many ways to assess the regional differences. When considering regions by the percentage of global BIoT connections, for example, Asia Pacific still represents the largest share but Europe leads North America in terms of connectivity with 30.2% of the market, rising to 30.7% by 2021.

Furthermore, when breaking down regions to a national level, the story gets more complex. In terms of total IoT investment, the limited spending by Canadian companies, for example, dulls North American figures despite strong investment in the US. Although solid growth is expected in both the US and Canada in the coming years, due to progressive government and legislator support.

Similarly, somewhat limited spending in major Asian economies like Japan and India skews figures on a region driven by China. In addition, such regional figures do not do justice to standout nations like Singapore, which in many ways lead the world because of their unique pro-business, pro-innovation working environment.

Europe’s Singapore is undoubtedly Finland, which is expected to outpace its own region thanks to its outstanding digital infrastructure. The regional disparity in Europe, however, is less stark than in Asia because many nations in the highly-developed continent show strong investment appetite. In fact France, Germany and the UK make up three of the top four countries in terms of mean company spending on IoT initiatives in 2015.

On market growth emerging markets such as the Middle-East and Africa show the most promise, albeit from a considerably lower starting point than other regions, the report shows. Many Middle Eastern countries, particularly Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, have made considerable strides in their efforts to strengthen their digital and innovation ecosystems, but countries in Africa continue to suffer from significant challenges in promoting ICT uptake.

The report “predicts the strong double-digit growth in BIoT revenues in all regions, but emerging markets will grow at the fastest rate. The Middle-East and Africa segment will represent the largest growth market, growing at an impressive 25.3% CAGR, but from a relatively low base, followed by Latin America at 21.6% then Asia-Pacific at 20.6%.”

North American growth is also expected to outperform Europe, whose slow economic recovery and sluggish construction market will mean the growth remains slow despite strong investment. North America has retail buildings to thank for their market growth, as intense competition between traditional and online retailers pushes innovation, now BIoT technology is fast becoming the fundamental tool for gaining new insight into customer behavior.

With such ubiquitous applications for retail, health, office and all manner of other commercial buildings the BIoT is set to continue its expansion around the world. Even without significant public sector adoption, these wide ranging applications mean that we should expect to see continued growth in almost all ambitious nations of the world.

“The IoT has a wide range of applications and can be used to increase efficiency, enable new services, create new business models, or increase health and safety, or environmental benefits while at the enterprise level real-time integration of collected data streams are being leveraged to enable real-time decision making, based on analytics results,” the comprehensive report explains.

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