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Editor's picks: Thought-provoking IoT blogs from 2018

As 2018 draws to a close after another year of IoT adoption, deployment and management becomes history, it’s time to reflect on the last 12 months and how far the IoT market, which is still in its infancy, has come.

In analyzing some of the most thought-provoking posts from our IoT Agenda guest contributor network in 2018, it’s interesting to see how the IoT conversation is swiftly transitioning from why organizations should adopt IoT to how to build a successful IoT strategy, how to tackle one of IoT’s biggest challenges (security) and what other technologies can be used in conjunction with IoT to boost its effects and accomplishments.

Without further ado, here is what you were most interested in learning about IoT in 2018 and how the views of our guest contributors are creating the building blocks of IoT in 2019 and beyond.

IoT strategy: Building blocks to success

Imagine walking into a store and being offered a custom-tailored overcoat that will be ready in four weeks for $1,000, or a one-size-fits-all hoody that you can walk out of the store with at that moment for $10. Now translate that to IoT. You can settle for the easy, readily available off-the-shelf IoT platform that may or may not meet your enterprise’s needs, or you can wait a few months (or longer) and pay a higher price to get the perfect platform. This was the scenario Deloitte Digital’s Robert Schmid presented in Turnkey IoT: Balancing customizability and ease of implementation — but, he said, it fortunately doesn’t have to be this way.

An IDC survey reported that while 38% of IoT producers currently make revenue from hardware, that number will slip to 33% over the next two years, while in contrast, the number of producers making money from IoT services will increase from 32% to 38% in the same time period. As IoT revenue streams transition from static hardware to as-a-service offerings, it’s time to rethink monetization strategies. Flexera’s Eric Free discusses this — and the challenges of using SaaS to monetize IoT — in his post, Subscription and pay-per-use IoT revenue models.

It’s no secret IoT devices create data — and a lot of it. For that data to be useful enough to improve business processes, it’s critical that it can be shared across the entire business and not get stuck in technological or organizational siloes. Tata Consultancy Services’ Regu Ayyaswamy outlined the importance of a connected digital enterprise to put IoT data to work and gave real-world examples of CDEs in action, as well as tips to compete in the business 4.0 world, in his post, Get more answers from your IoT data in a connected digital enterprise.

IoT security

The General Data Protection Regulation landed on May 25 — the EU law on data protection and privacy that affects organizations worldwide. Companies interacting with users and businesses in the EU must adhere to this regulation that mandates how companies collect, process and store the personal data of their customers. In What does the GDPR mean for IoT?, Openwave’s Aman Brar took a deep dive into how the GDPR would affect the internet of things and explained why the IoT community should address privacy and security from the get-go.

2018 was also the year of discussing which specific technologies can help enterprises tackle the ever-present IoT security issue. In Is blockchain the answer to IoT security?, Portnox’s Ofer Amitai outlined the challenges of securing device-to-device communication and providing authorization for IoT devices, and explored why blockchain is one of the most promising technologies to provide a tamper-evident record of everything that happens in an IoT environment.

In Trusted execution environments: What, how and why?, Trustonic’s Richard Hayton wrote that TEE is one technology that can help manufacturers, service providers and consumers alike ensure trusted identification to the ever-growing proliferation of IoT devices. Read his post to find out what trusted execution environments are, how they work and why TEEs can provide the trust and scalability IoT systems require.

IoT’s plus one

Just as IoT isn’t one single technology, readers this year learned why it was important to combine it with other technologies to be successful. Progress’ Mark Troester’s Key considerations of AI, IoT and digital transformation took a look at the convergence of IoT with artificial intelligence and digital transformation and why it will be critical to the future of your business, if it isn’t already. Read on to learn why, if applied correctly, AI and IoT can drive the digital transformation movement.

AI and IoT was a popular duo this year. Aricent’s Ben Pietrabella discusses the promise of 5G and what it holds for IoT, but said it will remain just that, a promise, without all-in commitment from smart mobile operators to use AI in conjunction with 5G. Check out his post, Why smart operators are turning to AI to prepare for 5G, to learn the role AI has to play in 5G and IoT, and why the success of a 5G network depends on the operators’ ability to harness AI in an IoT network.

Another hot topic over the past year was digital twins. It wasn’t that long ago that digital twin use was an out-of-reach goal, said Wipro Limited’s K.R. Sanjiv in his post, Digital twins: The final frontier of VR? But thanks to IoT, he wrote, augmenting the physical with virtual is rapidly becoming a reality. Read on to learn why digital twins are only going to grow in both prominence and power, and get help building a new virtual ecosystem for your enterprise.

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