We have seen several key trends in IoT in 2018. Including the mass adoption of IoT platforms, the rise of data intelligence, and the recognition of major security challenges.
At the beginning of 2017, the industry predicted that there would be more than 8 billion connected “things” by the end of 2018. As we stand on the cusp of 2019, Statista puts the number closer to 20 billion devices around the world. At 20 billion, these numbers only confirm that the Internet of Things (IoT) remains one of the biggest trends in 2018 and consequently, is in position to transform industries.
In 2018 we saw the expansion of IoT in many fields. From a solutions point of view, we see the increase adoption of platforms-as-a-service, followed by the intelligence and technology.
1: Scalable IoT Platforms
Operational and finance leaders have quickly realized the benefits of IoT. Research confirms that 60 percent of decision-makers are using or planning to use IoT applications over the next two years. These markets span from building connected products to transforming operational processes.
To that point, 2018 was the big year for platforms from IBM, Amazon, Cisco, GE, Microsoft and other giants offer multitier solutions that simplify the management of IoT infrastructure and enterprise data. “This has created a huge opportunity for service integrators.” Says Manny Hernandez, who heads product development at DCS. “For instance, sensors will be a big area of growth for us this year and as a result, we expect our IoT connections will surpass mobile phones in this year.”
And with that, the competition between platforms motivates continuous improvement and innovation, which, consequently, may start to drive the price of service down. “Constant changes in industrial and consumer demand will begin to shape the standards.” Says Eric Placzek, Chief Technology Officer at DCS, “Therefore, we’ll begin to see the changes take hold in 2019.”
In 2018, we’ve seen the development of software platforms. Therefore, it appears we’ll see more adoption of packaged solution applications for hardware, security, preventative maintenance, and asset tracking solutions.
There has been a lot of growth within IoT applications ecosystem. This includes, Over The Top (OTT) services, such as, machine learning, image recognition, augmented reality, and block chain. All of which support many vertical industries in Agriculture, Industrial, Manufacturing, and more noteworthy, Government.
Manny says, “Predictive maintenance is an even more promising application of IoT. Above all, it’s one of the most measurable ways to monitor and reduce cost in companies that manage infrastructure or have a need to control variable cost.” The integration of machine learning into IoT infrastructure will be a game changer. Due to the help of algorithms, real-time data and legacy data – all will be turned into insights. These insights will futhermore help operations and finance control costs and predict operational spending while, preventing costly malfunctions.
“With the software, we want to develop cost saving solutions that target financial and operational pain points,” Placzek said.
3: Security Challenges
Security remains the biggest issue across the entire IoT ecosystem. Businesses are worried about a breach on their connected devices. Developers certainly believe security will continue to be an issue in the future. “Security is at the forefront of our minds in development.” Says Placzek, “We should expect security to become a larger factor in the medical and financial field.”
The biggest concerns revolve around enterprise data and payment transaction. Apart from this, everyone is concerned about hardware layer security.
Hernandez said, “Unified security protocols are needed. IoT developers also need to embrace security in their development process and ensure that they incorporate point-to-point security.”
Today, biometric identification for personal mobile devices is already widely adopted. We can expect connected devices to embrace the benefits of advanced authentication. For example, facial recognition, voice recognition, and other user-centric security.
While we are still in the process of defining a set of standards, we can be certain that IoT in 2018 has set the course for 2019. We can expect platforms to be more refined, security to be more secure, and data will take better shape in 2019. Overall it looks like IoT will see it’s best year yet.