The year 2018 is going to be an exciting one for IoT. Many areas, including healthcare, automotive, smart cities, usage-based insurance, and asset management, will see more interesting projects take off successfully around the world. Increasing realisation of the value that IoT brings, together with faster adoption of connected electronics, has pushed IoT to create a business transformation narrative like never before. Work processes, cost containment, productivity improvements, and improved customer experiences are areas that will receive extensive IoT attention this year.
Here are few trends that will shape the IoT sector in 2018.
Data reigns: Conversations on data monetisation will take centre stage in 2018 as more IoT projects move from proof of concept stage to full scale deployment. Businesses and vendors already are working towards adding a strong layer of monetisation on the business enablement core to further strengthen the value proposition of IoT. Small and medium businesses will invest in leveraging IoT cloud platforms that are repositories of big data to derive business patterns using analytical algorithms. This will help lower the gap between their company and large businesses in terms of customer experience and competitive differentiation.
Inter-operability with other technologies: IoT, working in tandem with artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain technologies, will find more traction in verticals such as financial services, retail, and healthcare. Overall, this partnership will work towards improving privacy, efficiency, and data ownership for complex projects. IoT is, in fact, becoming a project management framework in terms of helping project managers understand how to handle projects involving volumes of data flowing in from multiple end points.
IoT impacting customer relationships: Relationship-based marketing has been influenced extensively by the appearance of proximity beacons, sensors, and enhanced data capabilities. This will have a bearing on how customer experience is delivered and how value chains are managed.
Increase in IoT recruitment: Skillsets around security, AI, robotics, embedded electronics, solution engineering, and data science will continue to be in high demand. A study conducted in UK in 2017 found that as many as 68% of the organisations surveyed were finding it hard to hire talent for IoT.
Hyper personalisation: Wearables have become an important segment within IoT and are pushing the boundaries of personalisation like never before. Additionally, wearables will extend so as to enable control of the nature of content with which one engages.
Still a good time to be a start-up: As of today, there are more than 900 IoT start-ups in India. What is attracting them is a chance to address the needs of niche segments and create new markets.
Standards might remain a slightly distant dream. Imagine if you were a developer who wanted to connect a plethora of devices and make them communicate, you would have to surmount many challenges. IoT industry standards, as set by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), recently saw more protocols join the IoT sector. These include LTE-M (also known as LTE-CatM1 or LTE-MTC) and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT). Each wants the crown of global LPWA standards coming their way. Each has an argument for dominance. On the downside, they have yet to be deployed (but coming soon).
New business models: As part of the effort by vendors and businesses to realize more value from IoT deployments, many new business models will emerge this year.
Realistic estimation of the potential of IoT: As the technology powering and enabling IoT becomes less complex, tech pundits are becoming more realistic about its actual potential. As newer solutions get deployed, the focus will shift from the number of IoT connections to actual deployments and the value generated.
2018, the year of platforms: The number of IoT platforms available grew in 2017. Consequently, the focus shifted to delivering value by seamlessly integrating applications, endpoints, and analytical engines to generate outcomes aligned to the needs of enterprises. Platforms, which already were the cornerstone of a successful IoT deployment, also turned into strong business outcome enablers. This trend is expected to pick up momentum in 2018 as demand continues to grow.
For more information on these and other IoT trends, in the U.S, India, or any other locale, visit us at Aeris.