2018 – The Year of IoT?
Technology research giant Gartner reported that in 2017 there were 8.4 billion connected things, which was up 31 percent from the previous year. It further predicted that there will be 21 billion connected devices by 2020. But what about for 2018? Let’s take a look at what trends are in store for IoT this year…
Consumer IoT applications represent an enormous percentage of connected products. In the home and workplace, the latest smart hubs and data driven devices consistently draw the awing crowds, and as such continuously develop and improve in their functionality and technical capabilities. Smart TVs, tablets, games consoles, home hubs and digital set-top boxes leading the way in commercial development. For businesses adopting IoT, focus will typically begin with connected security cameras and smart electric meters.
2. IoT In Enterprise
Internet of Things in enterprise will dramatically increase this year. Tailored platforms and bespoke, industry specific applications will be developed to provide robust, scalable and digitally sound solutions to the unique challenges that enterprises face in today’s dynamic world.
“… from 2018 onwards, cross-industry devices such as those targeted at smart buildings (including LED lighting, HVAC and physical security systems) will take the lead as connectivity is driven into higher-volume, lower cost devices.” (Source: Gartner)
From renewable energy, oil and gas, manufacturing and logistics, to healthcare, industries are transforming on a big scale by adopting cloud and IoT technologies.
3. Exponential Growth
While consumers purchase more devices, businesses spend more. According to Gartner, in 2017 business spending represented 57 percent of overall IoT hardware spending. A cool $964 billion to be exact. Which is on track to increase to $3 trillion by 2020. And that’s just the hardware. Let’s not forget the Internet of Things services that are central to the rise of IoT devices, such as designing, implementing and operating IoT systems and applications for business. As costs drop and new applications emerge, connectivity services will increase dramatically.
4. Data Development
All this new connectivity means businesses will be up to their elbows in new data. All this new data needs to be mined to provide new insights and potential business opportunities. Businesses will thusly be seeking cost effective, efficient and secure ways of handling it. Leading to an increase in edge networking, which will become more of a company necessity rather than trend.
5. Advancements in Analytics
This influx of new data pushing companies to “the edge” will also usher in the needs of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The vastness of all this data will certainly be beyond human capabilities of managing it, which is why AI will be used to support this new and rapidly growing IoT space. Advancements in sophisticated analytics tools to extract the most important and relevant insights will also play a more central role in business as enterprises begin to connect to new Internet of Things landscapes.
Steady progression, but no explosion
So, research points towards IoT gaining some serious traction in 2018, with enterprises either taking steps to prepare for their digital transformation, of which Internet of Things will be the backbone, or investing in tailored applications for their business challenges. Spending will increase in both consumer hardware and enterprise, as well as IoT development and connectivity services within the business world. The IoT trajectory is certainly on track to prove the tech leaders right about the big IoT bang of 2020.
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