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IoT predictions 2017: Revenue, data, latency issues top the list

This blog post is part of our Essential Guide: Understanding the IoT business environment

The internet of things’ growth spurt over the past year leaves many wondering what the next 12 months will bring. Industry experts looked in their crystal balls and offered IoT predictions for the days and months ahead.

IoT prediction #1: Disembodied voices seeking recurring revenue

“Customer experience and engagement will drive business,” said Ryan Lester, director of IoT strategy at LogMeIn. “IoT product companies will rely less on the initial device purchase and more on recurring revenue opportunities, subscriptions and up-sell opportunities.”

One way Lior Blanka, CTO at DSP Group, said IoT will continue to impress users is through the voice interface.

“Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home Assistant are only the beginning,” Blanka said. “All of the major players will be making efforts to integrate this technology into their products. With a heavy focus on natural language processing and clarity, you’ll see algorithms and chipsets designed to enable intelligibility for two-way voice communications between users and their devices.”

“Next year will see the proliferation of IoT solutions in any number of product categories that classically have not included technology or connectivity features,” said Mitch Maiman, president at Intelligent Product Solutions. “[But] not all of the ideas will offer a significant enough value proposition to succeed in the marketplace. Expect to see new players, but also expect to see many startups fall by the wayside. Competing in this space is expensive, and there are a lot of ideas out there that lack sufficient value to keep consumers engaged.”

As the commonly cited statistic goes, nine out of 10 companies will fail within their first four months of operations. As such, Michael Beamer, president at goTransverse, knows that companies must start with a clear view of monetization, especially in IoT.

“Companies who haven’t yet figured out how to bill for these new products and services will be left behind by those who have,” Beamer said. “Without an aligned go-to market strategy, the groundwork that has been laid merely becomes a blueprint without infrastructure. Figuring out what model works, articulating ROI and understanding how an IoT initiative impacts the entire business will become mission-critical for companies looking to emerge victorious in the competitive world of IoT.”

“Increased volumes in device shipments mean costs will continue to come down,” said Dermot O’Shea, joint CEO at Taoglas. “As a result, more business plans will make financial sense. There is a great buzz around the industry now and investors are scrambling to get in to the latest and greatest IoT opportunities.”

IoT prediction #2: The data lakes will be drained

McKinsey and Company made headlines earlier in 2016 when it estimated that only 1% of data collected from IoT is ever used. While later estimates show this number increasing, it isn’t nearly where it should be. The promise of IoT hinges on its data — so what will make it more useful and consumable?

First, Adam Wray, CEO and president at Basho Technologies, recommended that organizations stop letting data lakes be holding ponds for dank runoff. “Rather than a data lake-focused approach, organizations will begin to shift the bulk of their investments to implementing solutions that enable data to be utilized where it’s generated and where business processes occur: at the edge. In years to come, this shift will be understood as especially prescient now that edge analytics and distributed strategies are becoming increasingly important parts of deriving value from data.”

Rich Catizone, CTO of Morey Corp., further sees data at the endpoint as an opportunity for increased intelligence.

“If you can take action at the endpoint, rather than shuffle data around from the cloud to the gateway, you can save time and money in data collection and storage. This also sets the stage for the proliferation of machine or ‘active’ learning,” Catizone said. “Once our devices become more peer-to-peer based rather than client-to-server, they can begin to collectively track instances and become smarter by auto-correcting their own behavior, bringing forth emerging insights that are new and novel.”

Mark Bregman, CTO at NetApp, predicted that this edge intelligence will really take off provided open platforms are used. “An open platform provides integrated and simplified access to data protection and management services and enables new approaches to data modelling and analytics that will eclipse the advances we’ve seen to date,” Bregman said.

IoT prediction #3: Latency is the enemy

“Interconnections will become very important for instantaneous access to networks, clouds and working in a multi-application environment that enables the success of IoT,” said Tony Bishop, vice president of global vertical strategy and marketing at Equinix. “The increasing number of real-time IoT apps will create performance and latency issues. It is important to reduce the end-to-end latency among machine-to-machine interactions to single-digit milliseconds.”

To address these concerns, Christian Reilly, CTO of Workspace Services at Citrix, said networks must evolve with the times.

“New devices and workflows will augment existing systems,” Reilly said. “2017 will be a pivotal year in which networks become smarter to adapt to the combinations of devices and data.”

Roei Ganzarski, president and CEO of BoldIQ, found room for skepticism in his 2017 projections: “Not enough will be done on the integration of [smart devices] in the next few years since it is less sexy and creates less news and media coverage. Thus adoption of these will be slower than people anticipate.”

If Ganzarski is right, 2017 won’t be the first year when predictions ran well ahead of actual timelines.

And what about the security of all this? Check out what the experts’ IoT predictions for security in 2017.

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