IoT Trends For Business: 2018 And Beyond
Forget about the hype: by 2020, the Internet of Things is predicted to generate an additional $344B in revenues, as well as to drive $177B in cost reductions. IoT and augmented reality are already enhancing performance of major US-based factories. They are making your car and home as smart as the notions claim to be. They are in the hands of your employees, covering routine management issues and increasing their productivity by 40-60%.
How do we know that? Well, that's what we saw at IoT Tech Expo 2017 in Berlin and CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Moreover, that's what our clients currently employ for their businesses. Today we'd love to share our impressions, a couple of cases where IoT solutions cover particular business needs and ideas, and 5 major IoT trends to be on the rise in 2018-2020.
Industrial IoT: two illustrative cases
As predicted by IndustryARC, the Industrial IoT (IIoT) market will reach $123.89B by 2021; and it's already gathering power through 2018. At the recent conferences, besides a variety of smart consumer products, we encountered large corporations—from healthcare to industrial businesses—that had well-defined needs to embrace tech advances.
At our client's steel works factory, an hour of downtime costs about $150M, while any breakdowns may bear risks for human health. This factory requires continuous high-tech enhancements not to lag behind the competition, if not be ahead of it. At the same time, these enhancements must not contradict with the existing, well-orchestrated work processes and environment, in order to be capable of producing the expected annual 1.5 million tons of output. Any new component to be implemented in the core IIoT system must be 100% verified and reliable.
How can such a factory boost productivity seamlessly under these conditions? Innovation is an option, and it lies in a combination of augmented reality, IoT, and app development. It allows engineers to monitor operations and gather data from various sensors with hands-free devices in real time. With this idea in mind, we are required to consult, build tech stack options, and implement the solution.
The second case concerns one of the leading construction works corporations, which has the need to update the product line. It must be based on the existing models with an addition of IoT hardware modules and the software component that accumulates and analyzes data, builds optimization models for the usage of high-end equipment, as well as prevents possible breakdowns according to the data analysis. This proved to be a surefire way to smoke the market competition by delivering a more valuable product.
Such cases allowed us to single out 5 IoT trends that meet at the crossroads with business and drive innovation throughout 2018-2020:
- • The Internet of Things is driven by industries
- • Wider adoption of consumer IoT
- • Interoperability matters
- • IoT security issues and constantly evolving solutions
- • The Internet of Things is about software and data
Now let's overview each trend in detail.
Trend #1. The Internet of Things is driven by industries
That's what our curious case was all about. Instead of talking about raw technologies, our clients focus on real problems and solutions. According to a survey by IDC, 31.4% of companies launched IoT products, with an additional 43% looking to deploy in the next 12 months. 55% of respondents see IoT as strategic to their business as a means to face competition more effectively.
Indeed, the latest conferences and requests from our clients showed corporations in search of IoT solutions that can be incorporated with their business processes. They want to manage their diversity of data in a less operationally complex way. They are interested in blockchain—as far from mainstream adoption as it is—as a means of secure peer-to-peer transactions between IoT devices. Business impact is the key for all IoT trends.
Trend #2. Wider adoption of consumer IoT
Gartner says connected things will reach 20.8 billion by 2020, as compared with 6.4B in 2016. This rise is often associated with various smart home devices like our recent CUJO project. Users want these devices to be usable, reliable, and compatible with other products in the long run. Businesses are looking to use and adopt consumer IoT products as well.
In the long run, this market is being formed by hardware manufacturers and their business partners. They want to make their products reliable, easy in use and maintenance. They want to make firmware and software product development less expensive and time-consuming by launching SDKs and platforms. But who will eventually succeed? The business that wields a combination of flexibility, reliability with wide integrity and an open development community.
As CES 2018 showed us, smart homes and offices are slowly pushing forth the concept of smart city. Although there are solutions and ideas presented at the event, it's early days yet to talk about a step to the next level. However, 2018-2020 can become breakthrough years in this respect.
Trend #3. Interoperability matters
The Internet of Things market is drifting towards interoperability. Business owners shape it and tune it up with careful steps. It will take a while until things get unified around key protocols and standards, with some of them already being promoted by corporations (Bluetooth Low Energy, applied by MobiDev in automotive IoT, is a good example).
Be sure to keep in mind that your new IoT product might have to be easily supported and interoperable with standards that do not exist yet. That's the tricky part, so your project architecture and code base should be flexible enough for maintenance and transformation. For example, your team should be able to create or customize API to integrate your product on the software level within a short timespan. Sometimes it's a matter of survival in business.
Trend #4. IoT security issues and constantly evolving solutions
According to Business Insider, nearly $6T will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years, with businesses and governments being its top adopters. But there is one thing that stands in the way: general vulnerability of connected devices.
Data security is an issue that requires integrated approach from the company that builds software. Those aware of the 2016 DDoS attacks will definitely take steps towards ongoing prevention and monitoring. Healthcare industry, where privacy concerns are protected on legal grounds, is a compelling example.
Possible impact of main security threats can be prevented at the earliest stages of development. One should prepare by dedicating a separate page of project documentation to the description of security standards and requirements that must be used for the product.
Trend #5. The Internet of Things is about software and data
This king of IoT trends can sparkle arguments easily. However, we tend to agree that it's software and data that dominate the Internet of Things. Your development teams build and integrate it in different environments, on an ongoing basis, using the latest advances in data science. Modern B2B products, such as complex ERP systems, already use statistics and data science models to facilitate sales of adopting businesses.
We all can see data, we call can get data. But the question is, how this data can be used for maximum impact on business. It's all about the accuracy and integrity of data that is collected and processed throughout the system, as well as real-time analysis. Businesses get sources of information that accelerate their decisions and actions, bringing agility and flexibility to the process.
From now on it is your own unique story. Meanwhile our Internet of Things services are here to help you make this story real.
Feel free to contact us with your questions and ideas.
In case you want to go deeper into every point, check the sources of IoT analytics:
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