Connected devices are expected to reach over 38 billion over the next five years, according to new predictions, representing a 285% increase from the current figure.

Findings from market watcher Juniper Research forecasted that more than 17 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices will be in use by 2020 as businesses embrace IoT opportunities in industries such as retail, agriculture, construction and energy.

“This is due in no small part to a much stronger business case for these types of applications,” said Juniper in its published report Internet of Things: Consumer Industrial & Public Services 2015-2020.

The research underlined the importance of implementing the right systems to effectively deploy IoT strategy. “Knowing what information to gather, and how to integrate that into back-office systems, remains a huge challenge,” said lead analyst and report author Steffen Sorrel.

“Mere connections create data. However, this does not become information until it is gathered, analysed and understood. The analytics back-end systems of the IoT will therefore form the backbone of its long-term success,” he continued.

The report also argued that the success of IoT is currently limited by conflicting policy. Juniper said that work to confront this potential challenge is already underway, smoothing growth potential.

“There are signs that standards bodies and alliances are beginning to engage to overcome these hurdles,” the report suggested.

Rival researcher IDC agreed recently in its Worldwide Internet of Things Forecast 2015 – 2020, that the real opportunities for IoT lie in the enterprise rather than the consumer sphere with its focus on smartwatches and other wearable gadgets. In June, the analyst said that it expects IoT spending to rise dramatically from $565 billion this year to $1.7 trillion in 2020.

Major tech names including IBM, Cisco, Google and Oracle are already revealing IoT solutions and products taking advantage of this huge market capital.