IoT Trends To Drive Innovation For Business In 2019-2020
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 enhanced reality solutions are already increasing performance metrics of major US-based factories. They are in the hands of your employees, covering routine management issues and boosting their productivity by 40-60%.
These figures illustrate one of the latest trends in the Internet of Things that we singled out at IoT Tech Expo 2018 in Amsterdam. This expo gathered the latest advances in IoT, AI, and blockchain under the same roof; and it's these innovations that our clients currently employ for their businesses. Today we would like to share our mini-cases of IoT solutions covering well-outlined business needs, as well as the major IoT trends for 2019-2020.
Industrial IoT: illustrative cases
As predicted by IndustryARC, the Industrial IoT (IIoT) market will reach $123.89B by 2021; and it has already gathered 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 the need 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, or at best 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 1.5M 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 in this case it lay in a combination of augmented reality, IoT, and mobile development. This solution would allow engineers to monitor operations and gather data from various sensors with hands-free devices in real time. With this idea in mind, we were required to consult, form a tech stack, and implement the product.
The second case concerns one of the leading construction works corporations, which had the need to update its product line. It had to be based on the existing models with an addition of IoT hardware modules and the software component that would accumulate and analyze data, build optimization models for the usage of high-end equipment, as well as prevent possible breakdowns according to data analysis. This proved to be a surefire way to smoke the market competition by delivering a more valuable product.
Cases like these, as well as our observations at top IoT events, allowed us to single out 6 IoT trends that are expected to drive innovation for business in 2019-2020:
- • The Internet of Things is driven by industries
- • Wider adoption of consumer IoT
- • Interoperability matters
- • IoT security issues and constantly evolving solutions
- • IoT solutions combining multiple innovations
- • The Internet of Things is about software and data
Now let's overview each of them in detail.
Trend #1. The Internet of Things is driven by industries
That's what our cases were 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—still quite far from mainstream adoption—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 the high diversity of emerging smart home devices like one of our projects called CUJO. In the long run, this market is 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.
As IoT Tech Expo 2018 showed us, smart homes and offices are slowly but steadily shaping the concept of smart city. Although there were numerous solutions and ideas presented at the event, it's early days yet to talk about a step to the next level. However, 2019-2020 can become breakthrough years in this respect.
Trend #3. Interoperability matters
The market is drifting towards interoperability of IoT devices. 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 for automotive IoT, is a good example).
Be sure to keep in mind that your next IoT product might have to be easily supported and compatible 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. IoT solutions combining multiple innovations
Any tech product, created for achievement of a specific business goal, is based on a stack of technologies that must work together seamlessly, perfectly fit for implementation of required functionality. Who said it's impossible to combine innovations for the same purpose?
If we take another look back at the IoT Tech Expo, one of the most notable technologies presented there was Hyperledger Sawtooth, one of the leading production-ready blockchain frameworks. Prior to the Expo, it had been applied by our team to create a demo platform for autonomous delivery tracking—a viable solution for logistics and transportation. Along with mobile and web applications, the product includes an IoT component for receiving and sending geolocation data for real-time updates.
Trend #6. The Internet of Things is about software and data
This one can sparkle arguments easily, yet we tend to agree that it's software and data that dominate the Internet of Things. Your development teams build and integrate software in different environments, on an ongoing basis, using the latest advances in data science and machine learning. 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, integrity, and actual amount of data that is collected and processed throughout the system, as well as real-time data analysis. Businesses get sources of information that accelerate their decisions and actions, bringing agility and flexibility to the process.
That's it for now! The next IoT-related event that we are going to attend will take place in October – Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit in Austin, Texas. All in all, wearables are yet another IoT sphere that continues to grow, and we will keep you in touch with the latest advances and emerging trends.
June 21, 2018
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