IoT has come a long way since David Nichols networked a Coke machine across ARPANET in the 1980s. As a matter of fact, the current (conservative) estimate for IoT device deployment worldwide is 7 billion (and that doesn’t even include other connected devices, such as laptops, smartphones, etc.).
As organizations adopt strategies to overcome initial challenges that include architecture complexity, security concerns, lack of widely accepted standards, shortage of skilled data scientists and more, it’s easy to understand why IDC is predicting the market will eclipse $1.2 trillion in 2022. As more IoT platforms begin to better align with major cloud providers, such as AWS or Azure, there’s never been more opportunity for IoT success.
As 2018 fades into the distance, it’s time to look ahead and make some predictions for the year to come. Here are my top five IoT predictions for 2019:
Prediction #1: IoT Pilots Will Be Replaced by Implementations
Business leaders are growing more confident in IoT. As a result, we will see more and more organizations skipping the IoT pilot phase in favor of initial implementations. Because IoT solutions have been proven to work, these leaders will no longer see the need to start with a trial. In fact, beginning with a pilot project can actually raise total investment costs and delay a business’s ability to achieve more advanced levels of IoT maturity quickly, such as automation, where ROI is optimized.
Prediction #2: Independent IoT Software Platforms Will Become Extinct
The market’s first IoT software platforms were billed as a one-size-fits-all solution. But, what real-world customers have discovered is that these offerings aren’t always flexible enough to meet their unique needs. I predict a growing number of IoT vendors will expand their offerings with services to help them better address a broader array of customer requirements. So much so that IoT service revenue will eclipse product revenue by end of 2019.
If you’ve sacrificed goals around scale, scope, or quality because your one-size-fits-all software couldn’t support them, it’s time to look at the next generation of tailor-made services for better outcomes.
Prediction #3: More Industrial Companies Will Turn to IoT Cloud Solutions
Industrial companies have typically rejected the cloud and favored on-premise technology to meet their stringent security requirements. In the coming year, I predict the tide will change. We will see more industrial companies trusting, or even preferring, cloud solutions. This approach not only opens up new options in terms of scope and scale, but it can reduce costs at the same time.
Prediction #4: New IoT Apps Will Be Available in App Store/Marketplace Format
Due to the unique nature of each customer’s business, IoT platform vendors are moving away from single software platforms and instead offering IoT applications through partnerships with leading cloud service providers, such as AWS or Azure. This approach offers a lot of incentive for IoT platform vendors. First, they can be faster to market if they leverage the software and R&D of cloud providers. Second, the built-in security, higher availability, and greater scale these partnerships enable matches what customers have come to expect.
With this shift, I predict that we’re going to see more IoT applications become available in an “app store” format. Partnering with cloud providers in this way will bring IoT applications to the broader marketplace much more quickly.
Prediction #5: There Will Be a Democratization of IoT
To this point, IoT has gained substantial traction in industrial verticals with high-value assets, such as manufacturing and oil and gas. With more IoT applications becoming available in app stores, businesses across a wider range of industries will be able to add IoT with a click of a button. I expect this will lead to more standardization in the collection of data as well as how it is processed in 2019, which opens the door for retail and enterprise IT.
2019 should be an exciting year as organizations continue to transform their businesses with IoT technology. I look forward to seeing how the market will change and grow over the next 12 months.