IoT is one of the transformational trends that will shape the future of businesses in 2017 and beyond. Many firms see big opportunity in IoT uses and enterprises start to believe that IoT holds the promise to enhance customer relationships and drive business growth by improving quality, productivity, and reliability on one side, and on the other side reducing costs, risk, and theft. By having the right IoT model companies will be rewarded with new customers, better insights, and improved customer satisfaction to mention few benefits.
With all this in mind, let’s explore some of the trends of IoT impacting business and technology in 2017:
1) IoT and Blockchain Will Converge
Blockchain is more than a concept now and has applications in many verticals besides FinTech including IoT. Blockchain technology is considered by many experts as the missing link to settle scalability, privacy, and reliability concerns in the Internet of Things. Blockchain technology can be used in tracking billions of connected devices, enable the processing of transactions and coordination between devices; allow for significant savings to IoT industry manufacturers. This decentralized approach would eliminate single points of failure, creating a more resilient ecosystem for devices to run on. The cryptographic algorithms used by Blockchain would make consumer data more private. In 2017 IoT will converge with Blockchain for better security and privacy opening the door for a new category in applications, hardware, and talents.
2) IoT Devices and More DDoS Attacks
Forrester thinks that the recent DDoS attack that hit a whopping 1600 websites in the United States was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the threat that the connected device poses to the world. That attack confirmed the fear of vulnerability of IoT devices with a massive distributed denial of service attack that crippled the servers of services like Twitter, NetFlix , NYTimes, and PayPal across the U.S. on October 21st , 2016. It’s the result of an immense assault that involved millions of Internet addresses and malicious software, according to #Dyn, the prime victim of that attack. “One source of the traffic for the attacks was devices infected by the Mirai botnet”. All indications suggest that countless Internet of Things (IoT) devices that power everyday technology like closed-circuit cameras and smart-home devices were hijacked by the malware, and used against the servers.
3) IoT and Many Mobile Moments
IoT is creating new opportunities and providing a competitive advantage for businesses in current and new markets. It touches everything—not just the data, but how, when, where and why you collect it. The technologies that have created the Internet of Things aren’t changing the internet only, but rather change the things connected to the internet. More mobile moments (the moments in which a person pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants, immediately and in context) will appear on the connected device, right from home appliances to cars to smartwatches and virtual assistants. All these connected devices will have the potential of offering a rich stream of data that will then be used by product and service owners to interact with their consumers.
4) IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and Containers
In an IoT situation, AI can help companies take the billions of data points they have and boil them down to what’s really meaningful. The general premise is the same as in the retail applications – review and analyzes the data you’ve collected to find patterns or similarities that can be learned from so that better decisions can be made.
The year 2017 would see Internet of Things software being distributed across cloud services, edge devices, and gateways. The year would also witness IoT solutions being built on modern Microservices (an approach to application development in which a large application is built as a suite of modular services. Each module supports a specific business goal and uses a simple, well-defined interface to communicate with other modules) and containers (lightweight virtualization) that would work across this distributed architecture. Further, machine-learning cloud services and Artificial Intelligence will be put to use to mine the data that would be coming in from IoT devices.
5) IoT and Connectivity
Connecting the different parts of IoT to the sensors can be done by different technologies including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Low Power Wi-Fi , Wi-Max, regular Ethernet , Long Term Evolution (LTE) and the recent promising technology of Li-Fi (using light as a medium of communication between the different parts of a typical network including sensors). In 2017, new forms of wireless connections, such as 3GPP’s narrowband (NB)-IoT, LoRaWAN, or Sigfox will be tested. Forcing IoT decision-makers to evaluate more than 20 wireless connectivity options and protocols, which is one step in the right direction of having standards for connectivity.
6) IoT and Talent-Shortage
Organizations launching IoT projects including smart cities and industrial facilities face a tougher time in recruiting talent. Complicating matters is that it remains a challenge to find enough workers to secure the Internet of Things. 45 percent of IoT companies struggle to find security professionals, according to a TEKsystems survey. 30 percent report having difficulty finding digital marketers. In 2017, industrial major vendors will invest in IoT training and certifications and make it part of the mainstream training programs in the tech industry.
7) IoT and New Business Models
The bottom line is a big motivation for starting, investing in, and operating any business, without a sound and solid business models for IoT we will have another bubble , this model must satisfy all the requirements for all kinds of e-commerce; vertical markets, horizontal markets, and consumer markets. A new business model including sharing cost of devices with consumers, reducing the cost of ownership and making UX less hassle and more joyful. 2017 will see new categories being added to smart markets. One key element is to bundle service with the product, for example, devices like Amazon’s Alexa will be considered just another wireless speaker without the services provided like voice recognition, music streaming, and booking Uber service to mention few.
The Road Ahead
The Internet of Things (IoT) is an ecosystem of ever-increasing complexity; it is the next level of automation of every object in our life and convergence of new technologies will make IoT implementation much easier and faster, which in turn will improve many aspects of our life at home and at work and in between. From refrigerators to parking spaces to smart houses, IoT is bringing more and more things into the digital fold every day, which will likely make IoT a multi-trillion dollar industry in the near future. One possible outcome in the near future is the introduction of “IoT as a Service” technology. If that service offered and used the same way we use other flavors of “as a service” technologies today the possibilities of applications in real life will be unlimited. But we have a long way to achieving that dream; we need to overcome many obstacles and barriers at many fronts before we can see the benefits of such technology.
IoT Expert | Faculty | Author | Speaker