3 IoT Trends for 2018 (and Beyond)

March 23rd, 2018 Posted by Kevin Gillingham

Light show connectivityThe Internet of Things (IoT) is impacting organizations and businesses across a range of industries, and it’s only getting started. Over 30% of organizations have already started using the IoT, and 69% either plan to or have in the next year.

Joseph M. Bradley, Global Vice President of the Digital & IoT Professional Services Organization at Cisco and Senior Research Fellow for the Global Center for Business Transformation, published an article for Cisco in which he explored his top five predictions for what to expect as the digital age takes over. We wanted to take a closer look at three of these, so keep reading to learn more:

1.     Look for Wider, Faster IoT Adoption Enabled by the Internet of Trust

AgreementThe Internet of Things (IoT) is already becoming a ubiquitous phenomenon. Over the next two years alone, up to 50 billion devices are predicted to connect to the IoT around the world. This transition will generate (and already is generating) a wealth of data that can be studied and analyzed to inform organizations and businesses’ decision-making processes. As this process evolves, watch for a subtle but important shift in thinking.

Instead of asking “is the data secure?” be prepared to ask “is the data correct?”

A lack of trust is one of the main hurdles that inhibits people from embracing the IoT and in particular the more transparent, sharing-oriented economies and systems it heralds. Blockchain technology will play a pivotal role here. We’ve already started to see the impact blockchain will have on financial sectors, but in 2018 and beyond its effects will be felt in a diverse array of other industries:

  • Defence giant Lockeed Martin has already started integrating blockchain technology into its development processes, allowing it to control risk management along its supply chain.
  • The Internet of Trust will pervade the automotive industry as autonomous vehicles become an increasingly imminent reality. While today we’re satisfied with usually trusting our car’s built-in GPS system, we’ll need to be 100% sure when it truly begins driving itself.

Ultimately, the stakes are going to get higher as the market gets hotter. By 2021, the global blockchain market is expected to soar to $2,312.5 million (USD) from only $210.2 million in 2016. As a result, companies are going to start setting themselves apart from each other on the basis of trust. As Joseph Bradley says, “While security will continue to be important, the Internet of Trust will become the key enabler for adoption and, ultimately, success.”

2.     Expect Computing to Be Pushed Even More towards the Edge

Fast Phone ConnectionToday’s consumers are living in the moment, and that’s exactly where future-ready organizations need to work to be in order to capture their attention.

But what does that mean?

Joseph Bradley gives us an insight by talking about one task—buying headphones—under two very different circumstances. In the first instance Joseph finds himself at the airport, surrounded by shrieking children excited for their holiday, when he realizes he doesn’t have his headphones. He rushes to the closest kiosk looking for any noise cancelling headphone at any price. The alternate version of this story is Joseph’s weekend expedition to the electronics store. He takes his time, looks at his options and engages in a conversation, before deciding which headphones he’d like to buy.

Same task, radically different real-time experiences.

It’s in these types of encounters that edge computing’s predictive capabilities come into their own. Edge computing operates at the edges of networks, nearer to data sources, which makes it faster and more responsive. According to Microsoft, by 2019 45% of all data created will be processed, stored, analyzed, and used at or near the edge of the network and by 2020 5.6 billion devices will be connected to edge computing solutions.

Throughout this process, the cloud will transition from being an action-oriented environment to a learning one. After figuring out what to do with all the things it learns, it will shift decision-making rules and responsibilities to the edge. The edge can then analyze data as it comes in, and act almost instantaneously. As Joseph Bradley observes, “Pretty nifty, huh?”

3.     Keep Your Eyes on the Prize—Data Ownership

CodeAnalytics is big, but just how big? Here are some numbers to help us illustrate—in 2015, worldwide revenues for big data and business analytics stood at $122 billion (USD). That number is expected to rise by more than $60 billion by 2019, exceeding $187 billion.

As people perform analyses, however, they’re realizing there’s a problem. Calculating analytics isn’t the issue; it’s not having the data in the first place.

Joseph Bradley predicts that in 2018 and beyond data assets are going to become crucial keys to success. If you want to hyper-accurately predict when a transportation vehicle like a bus or train is going to arrive, for example, you need to know more than simply where it is along its route. You need local weather conditions, traffic updates, and a wealth of other data, all of which needs to be structured immediately.

The challenge here is that most companies either don’t have access to or don’t own the data they need to solve these most critical problems. Businesses need to, and will, start investing in building out data banks so that they have the power to deliver exactly what their customers need.

Driving Your Organization’s IoT Success

Preparing does take time and effort, but it’s worth it. Remember, the IoT is about so much more than tech changes. It’s about business transformations. If you’d like to learn more, you can check out Building the Internet of Things: Implement New Business Models, Disrupt Competitors, and Transform Your Industry, written by Maciej Kranz, Vice President of Cisco’s Strategic Innovations Group:

  • Anticipate the Business Benefits: Making the most of the IoT will require investments in infrastructure and talent, but the benefits that come with making the shift can be substantial and include enhanced efficiencies, better resource use, and increased productivity.
  • Plan Ahead: Like with any changes, you need to develop an IoT roadmap that identifies actions you can take, methods you can follow, and risks and obstacles you might encounter. Understand that the scope and complexity of transformations will vary on an industry-by-industry and company-by-company basis. Be prepared to collaborate and identify solutions that will be right for you.
  • Prioritize Security: Security is one of the top issues for people grappling with IoT implementation. 41% of respondents in one survey cited security risks as their chief hurdle, while 50% of respondents in another said security concerns remain a top impediment when it comes to IoT deployments.
  • Increase Storage Capacities: With the collection and analysis of data being an IoT pillar, you need to have both enough bandwidth to cope with it and sufficient storage solutions to retain it. But just how much storage will you need? Analysts say many businesses will need to be ready to handle two zettabytes per year by 2019.
  • Start Small, Get Big: Most mountain climbers don’t start with Everest. They train intensively beforehand, testing their skill and resolve on smaller mountains before attempting the big climb. The same approach applies to the IoT. Instead of going after the big fish first, identify a piece of low-hanging fruit (a project that will bring definite benefits, but is low risk), hone your processes, and expand your ambitions from there. In Kranz’s words, “Think big, start small.”

To make your IoT journey a triumph, you need to choose the right partner. Look for someone who offers a breadth of experiences and services in planning, integrating, installing, and supporting each component of your organization’s infrastructure—ensuring you get a future-ready system that empowers you to make the most of the changes brought on by the IoT.


Are you ready to take the plunge? Contact us today to learn how Activo can help you maximize your success in the IoT!

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Written by Kevin Gillingham

Kevin Gillingham

Kevin Gillingham is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Activo. Through his expertise in technology, cabling, and communication solutions, he provides leadership and guidance to Activo’s team across Canada.

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