2019 Cloud and IoT Trends in the Industrial Products Market

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As cloud services and solutions evolve, so does consumer demand. Increases are predicted once again for the coming new year, with public cloud platforms growing faster than private cloud applications.

The last year helped to set the pace for this development: in the second quarter of 2018, Amazon’s cloud business grew nearly 48.9 percent, generating $6.11 billion in revenue. In July, it was reported that the Google Cloud division as a whole had grown rapidly, with Google CEO Sundar Pichai highlighting several major new customers. IBM also reported in July that cloud revenue—including hardware, software, and services for hybrid, public, and private cloud solutions—had generated $18.5 billion year over year, up 23 percent.

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Microsoft is also on the rise; in October, the company reported that commercial cloud revenue, including Azure sales, hit $8.5 billion, up 47 percent from the year-ago quarter. The growth margin for that business rose to 62 percent from 58 percent in the year-ago quarter and 59 percent in the prior quarter.

While the big cloud providers are offering a wider range of tools and services to help drive this growth, users will still need internal/external cloud expertise—beyond the public providers—to implement their own IoT systems. This will drive the need for hybrid cloud solutions and contribute to the blurring of cloud usage across edge, public, and private solutions.

Industrial Products Lead IoT Platform Adoption

2019 will become the year that enterprise companies dive head-first into IoT. Forrester reports that industrial products will lead all industries in IoT adoption at 45 percent with an additional 22 percent planning to adopt IoT in the next 12 months. According to Forbes, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market is predicted to reach $123B in 2021, attaining a CAGR of 7.3 percent through 2020. This will give executives the ability to analyze large quantities of industry and/or products-specific data and use that information for business intelligence and decision-making.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will also come into play, with IT executives opening up data that was formally siloed, enabling enterprises to derive informed insight on everything from product maintenance and development to daily operations.

IoT Security Issues Keep IT Executives on Their Toes

With IoT and cloud platform adoption on the rise, security will continue to be a concern. By 2020, more than 25 percent of security breaches in the industrial enterprise will involve IoT, according to Gartner. However, the same study reporters that IoT will account for less than 10 percent of IT security budgets.

IP-based connectivity is one of the challenges here, because of its necessity for communication across multiple devices and the inherent security risks. The use of sophisticated microprocessors in industrial equipment will play a role and also make the industrial equipment space a vulnerable target.

Although technology exists to make end-point devices secure, it will not be adopted universally, especially by low-cost manufacturers who want to sell equipment. Expect to see distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks continuing through 2019, and don’t be surprised when you see cloud-side accounts hacked and used to mine cryptocurrency or something similar on someone else’s cloud budget.

IT executives will need to be on their toes. They must plan for these attacks before they happen by adopting the technology necessary to encrypt and keep data safe.

Industrial Factories Build Digital Twins to Monitor Factory Floors in Real Time

B2B IoT and 3D modelling, also called digital twinning technology, is finally moving away from phenomenon status into everyday life. As the modelling trend matures, manufacturers are looking closely at unique ways to adopt this technology while pushing for a “digitally connected” factory floor.

Digital twinning is a new phenomenon in the world of manufacturing that lets operators build a 3D model of a facility and superimpose real-time sensor data on that model. This is where virtual modelling meets IoT and digital twinning comes to life. Real-time sensor data is mapped onto a 3D model of the facility, and visual clues are provided to allow the user to easily visualize what is happening.

Digital twinning is taking shape in the virtual world; up to 85 percent of IoT platforms will contain some form of this technology by 2022, according to Orbis Research. AI plays a big role here as well and will find wide adoption in machine learning algorithms used for things like predictive maintenance, factory floor design, machinery usage analysis and much more.

Leading the Way in 2019

The insights above and industry statistics all point to the industrial products sector leading the way in IoT and cloud platform adoption in 2019. From public cloud implementations to the ongoing use of hybrid solutions, industrial products manufacturers will harness the power of IoT to monitor assets in real time while collecting important data in the cloud for informed business intelligence. These industries will be the ones to watch in the coming year.

John Burton, CEO of UrsaLeo

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