Key Considerations when Planning an IoT Project

smart project management

  • The global count of IoT devices is expected to nearly double, reaching over 25 billion by 2030 from 15.1 billion in 2020.

  • The Top-500 projects accounted for 548 million subscriptions, constituting about 21% of global cellular IoT connections by the end of 2022. Fast-growing sectors in IoT include Utilities (21%), Infrastructure (17%), Transport & Logistics (13%), Automotive (13%), Industrial Automation (12%), and Smart Agriculture (8%).

  • Using standardized protocols like MQTT, CoAP, or HTTP/HTTPS simplifies tasks like reconfiguration, security updates, and maintenance. 

  • Cellular networks are projected to expand from 1.5 billion connections in 2022 to 6.9 billion by 2032, increasing their market presence from 11.6% to 17.7%. 

  • The number of IoT software solutions is growing among hardware vendors and global software players like Google and AWS.

IoT innovations come from a variety of sources, including startups and established corporations, and a prevailing number of them are considering cellular and LPWA connectivity at the early stages of design and manufacturing. This is supported by leading research companies such as Transforma Insights, Berg Insight, Gartner, and IDC. Dive deeper into the fastest-growing IoT projects and industries, top priority connectivity, and software as well as a few other aspects to consider when developing your IoT project. 

Which IoT Projects and Industries Grow the Fastest? 

The global count of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is anticipated to nearly double, going from 15.1 billion in 2020 to over 25 billion by 2030 according to Gartner.  China is expected to have the highest number of IoT devices, with approximately 8 billion consumer devices. IoT projects and industries that are experiencing the fastest growth include those in sectors like Utilities (21%), Infrastructure (17%), Transport & Logistics (13%), Automotive (13%), Industrial Automation (12%) Smart Agriculture (8%). Berg Insight states the Top-500 projects accounted for 548 million subscriptions, constituting about 21% of global cellular IoT connections by the end of 2022. 

Companies that Launched their IoT Projects per Industry 


Leading IoT vendors 


Utilities (21%) 

Siemens, General Electric, Schneider Electric 

Provide IoT solutions for efficient energy management. 

Infrastructure (17%) 

IBM, Cisco, Huawei 

Offer IoT solutions for smart cities and infrastructure. 

Transport & Logistics (13%) 

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Bosch, Fleet Complete 

Provide IoT solutions for tracking, optimization, and automation in logistics. 

Automotive (13%) 

Tesla, BMW, Ford 

Focus on IoT in connected cars, autonomous driving, and vehicle diagnostics. 

Industrial Automation (12%) 

Rockwell Automation, ABB, Siemens 

Offer IoT solutions for manufacturing automation and industrial processes. 

Smart Agriculture (8%) 

John Deere, Trimble, Climate Corporation (Bayer) 

Provide IoT solutions for precision farming and agriculture management. 

Healthcare (1,6%) 

Philips, GE Healthcare, IBM Watson Health 

Specialize in IoT applications for healthcare monitoring and management. 

Choosing between Connectivity Types for IoT Projects 

At the beginning of any smart project, it's crucial to consider how the devices will connect to the internet, taking into account factors such as device location, power consumption, mobility, and the surrounding environment. As the number of IoT projects continues to grow, the choice of network becomes increasingly important in order to meet specific requirements. Let's explore some of the major connectivity options: 

  • Cellular Connectivity. According to Transforma Insights, cellular networks are projected to expand from 1.5 billion connections in 2022 to reach 6.9 billion by 2032, resulting in an increase in their market presence from 11.6% to 17.7%. Cellular LPWA options like 4G LTE-M and NB-IoT are expected to dominate the IoT landscape, with 5G becoming increasingly relevant for high-speed, low-latency applications.  

  • Non-cellular LPWAN (Low-Power Wide Area Network). LPWAN technologies like LoRaWAN and Sigfox are gaining traction for their energy efficiency and long-range capabilities. According to IDC's Worldwide Global DataSphere, IoT Device and Data Forecast, LPWAN devices will grow at a CAGR of 59.3% between 2020 and 2025. 

  • Wi-Fi and Ethernet. In cases where IoT devices are situated within a fixed infrastructure with access to Wi-Fi or Ethernet, these options provide high-speed and reliable connectivity.  

  • Satellite Connectivity. Satellite networks offer IoT connectivity in remote or challenging environments. IDC's research suggests that satellite IoT endpoints will experience substantial growth in various industries. Explore more about satellite IoT. 

Find out more about which type of connectivity can power your hardware here and find out more about the connectivity trends in the Transforma Insights’ article. Some key players are actively engaging in technologies like LoRaWAN and LEO satellites. Smart metering stands out for NB-IoT, while LPWA (including Cat1) is making strides. At the same time, transition away from 2G and 3G networks continues, impacting the success of IoT providers. This trend is particularly significant in the US and is expected to extend to Europe in the mid-2020s. 

Furthermore, adopting a hybrid IoT connectivity approach allows for optimized connectivity based on factors like power consumption, range, and bandwidth. For example, Wi-Fi may be suitable for high-bandwidth applications within a facility, while LPWAN can extend coverage in remote areas with low power requirements. Combining Wi-Fi, cellular IoT (e.g., LTE-M or NB-IoT), and LPWAN technologies can help strike the right balance for your project. 

Coverage, Costs, and Security in IoT Projects 

When planning an IoT project that spans multiple regions or countries, it is advisable to select connectivity solutions that support roaming or provide global coverage. This ensures that IoT devices maintain seamless connectivity even when they move across different networks or regions. For detailed information about network coverage and operators, you can refer to the GSMA - Network Coverage Maps website.  

In addition, it is crucial to deploy devices that adhere to industry-standard open protocols and regulations. Utilizing standardized protocols such as MQTT, CoAP, or employing HTTP/HTTPS for secure communication simplifies essential management tasks like reconfiguration, security updates, and maintenance. By following these protocols, you can ensure the smooth and secure operation of your IoT ecosystem, regardless of how rapidly technology evolves. Implementing end-to-end encryption guarantees data confidentiality, while device authentication ensures only authorized devices can connect. Regular security audits help identify vulnerabilities and strengthen defenses.

Therefore, it is essential to prioritize end-to-end encryption, device authentication, and regular security audits.  The cost of an IoT project can vary significantly based on several factors. These include the complexity of IoT hardware, the type of connectivity chosen, features of IoT platforms, the complexity of development, data storage requirements, security needs, maintenance and support, prototyping and testing, licensing and compliance, analytics and visualization needs, and the scale and complexity of project management. Each of these factors can contribute to the total cost of ownership (TCO) for an IoT project. It is important to consider these aspects and assess their impact on the budget.  

Please note that the specific spending frames or examples of costs may vary depending on the unique requirements of your project and the prevailing market conditions.  


Examples of the Costs within IoT Project Development

Cost Category 

Approximate Price Range 

IoT Hardware 

$10 - $500+ per device 

IoT Connectivity 

$1 - $50+ per device per month 

IoT Platform 

$1,000 - $10,000+ per year 

Development & Integration 

$5,000 - $100,000+ 

Data Storage 

$100 - $1,000+ per month 

Security Solutions 

$1,000 - $10,000+ per year 

Maintenance & Support 

$500 - $5,000+ per year 

Prototyping & Testing 

$1,000 - $10,000+ 

Licensing & Compliance 

$1,000 - $5,000+ per year 

Analytics & Visualization 

$500 - $5,000+ per year 

Project Management 

$2,000 - $20,000+ per year 

Choosing IoT Software 

Device manufacturers often invest in both hardware and accompanying native software for IoT devices. At the same time, there are also notable IoT software providers like Google, ARM, and Apple that offer solutions suitable for a wide array of IoT devices. Customization may be required to align these solutions with specific hardware constraints and optimize their performance. These providers offer purpose-built operating systems tailored for resource-constrained IoT devices. These operating systems optimize communication, data collection, and processing within IoT equipment.  

Additionally, market leaders like Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, IBM, and Bosch provide IoT device management solutions, offering features such as software updates, device configuration, and real-time monitoring of device health. AWS IoT Core, SAP, and Oracle solutions are recognized software providers in the realm of data management for IoT. Integration with enterprise systems is represented by industry leaders such as IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce.  

Leading security providers, including Palo Alto Networks, Trend Micro, and Symantec, are at the forefront of IoT security. They incorporate advanced features and mechanisms to safeguard IoT devices, data, and networks from cyber threats. Moreover, connectivity management and security are ensured by industry giants such as Cisco, Ericsson, and Nokia. Their solutions are designed to manage device connectivity seamlessly and protect IoT projects against potential threats.  

Examples of IoT Software Solutions 

Software Manufacturer 

Solution Name 



Android Things 

An IoT-specific OS optimized for Google's ecosystem. 


Mbed OS 

A purpose-built OS for resource-constrained IoT devices. 



A framework for building IoT applications within iOS. 


Azure IoT Suite 

Provides device management, configuration, and monitoring. 


AWS IoT Core 

Manages data collection, processing, and storage for IoT. 


SAP IoT Solutions 

Provides data management for IoT and business insights. 


Oracle IoT Cloud 

Enables data collection and processing for IoT applications. 


Salesforce IoT Cloud 

Integrates IoT data into the Salesforce CRM platform. 


Norton IoT Security 

Protects IoT devices and data from cyber vulnerabilities. 


Cisco IoT 

Provides connectivity management and IoT security. 


Ericsson IoT Platform 

Solutions for managing device connectivity and security. 

To Sum Up 

Right from the initial planning and design stages of the IoT device, it's crucial to consider a multitude of factors, ranging from location and connectivity options to Connectivity Management Platforms that can be integrated. By selecting the appropriate configuration and functionality for the device, while aligning it with fundamental requirements such as energy consumption, mobility levels, and software integration from the outset, it becomes possible to mitigate potential costs for the entire ecosystem. This approach is pivotal because hardware, in isolation, does not constitute IoT.