At the end of the year, analysts, enterprises, experts and opportunist make many internet of things predictions. I have been collecting these predictions for years and can confirm there were as many successes as there were failures.
2017 predictions: The main conclusions
One initial conclusion this year is that luckily there is less hype around IoT. The good news is that year after year, the internet of things is growing worldwide and despite the fact that we are far from reaching many expectations, we are on a journey that has just started. Let’s not fool ourselves; IoT is still in its infancy in terms of dollars and deployments, and that can’t last much longer before market frustration sets in. It is true that the IoT industry has not exploded yet; the acceleration many of us expected this year did not happen, but I see more optimism for 2018.
Large companies such as Cisco, Dell, HPE, SAP, Google, AWS, Intel, ARM, Microsoft and Google continue investing in IoT and many startups are doubling down on the space as well.
The barriers for IoT adoption have been many and well-known. We can be assured that IoT is not yet ready for mass deployment, but please have no doubt that the market will scale up.
Some challenges remain in IoT. For instance, we continue to be worried that there will be a large-scale IoT security breach, and the battle among low-power wide area network (LPWAN) technologies and IoT platforms is far from over.
Additionally in 2017, other terms like edge computing, fog computing, blockchain and artificial intelligence became mainstream. We also saw adoption grow in industrial sector rather than the consumer sector. Finally, we saw this year that recruiting is a challenge for organizations with IoT initiatives.
What will happen with IoT in 2018?
According with Ericsson, in 2018, mobile phones are expected to be surpassed in numbers by IoT devices.
Other main trends in the IoT and IIoT space in 2018, as you can imagine, will be LPWAN, edge computing, AI on the edge and Blockchain. It seems that 2018 will be the year when AI and IoT will converge. But it will also be the year in which CIOs will be busy integrating device management into overall IT infrastructure in a way that doesn’t overwhelm the organization. This is where the adoption of application robots, natural language processing and AI automation of processes will come into their own, offering intelligent management of IoT deployments cheaply and efficiently.
However, 2018 will not be the year of blockchain and IoT, because although blockchain-based IoT adoption will rise to 5%, blockchain is not yet ready for large-scale deployments requiring reliability, stability and seamless integration with existing technology infrastructure.
To reinforce the ongoing investment across the industry, Gartner’s Strategic Trends for 2018 back up the focus on IoT with intelligent things, digital twins and cloud-to-the-edge all making the list for the coming year.
On the other hand, Forrester affirms that 2018 will be the year in which the internet of things finally moves from experimentation to business scale.
Forrester also predicts that IoT platform offerings will begin to specialize in “design” and “operate” scenarios, and IDC predicts that new IoT applications built by enterprises will use an IoT platform that offers outcome-based functionality based on comprehensive analytics capabilities.
Chris Matthieu, director of IoT Engineering at Citrix pointed out that “vehicles will continue to disrupt markets in human transportation, agriculture, logistics, etc. These vehicles are becoming mobile (edge) data centers on wheels processing tera/petabytes worth of sensor data to react in real time to surrounding conditions.”
Almost everyone predicts more cyberthreats in 2018, which will be a challenging year for the IIoT industry. Hackers know that these companies are now online and more connected than ever, which increases vulnerability. In 2018, we will see the first medical IoT hack leading to stolen data. We will also see continued merging of traditional safety and IT security.
Marketers in 2018 are going to experience a massive increase in the number of digitally connected devices, which will certainly change the game for marketers across the globe.
To end this article, I will give one prediction of my own. In spite of the fact that I am not on this list of the 17 experts telling the most exciting 2018 IoT trends, I hope that 2018 will finally see IoT move from experimentation to business scale.
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