2017 was a roller coaster ride for enterprises in technology space. Recent IoT trends were the talk of the town and contributed to numerous transformations across industries. Consumer products such as connected devices and wearables were the bellwethers of these transformations.

The IoT industry size was valued at USD 800 billion in 2014. Technological proliferation and exponential increase in venture investments are expected to boost the global market over the next decade. Significant penetrations of internet and advancement in electronic industry have further propelled the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) industry and gives a strong visibility to the compelling IoT technology trends in 2018.

The IoT market is expected to touch USD 6 trillion by 2021, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.9%. With this growth, market will witness new business models & use cases along with immense changes in improved customer experience, productivity & workflow.

Now that, we know IoT will be one of the primary crusaders to drive digital transformation in 2018 and beyond, let’s have a quick sneak peek on the top IoT trends in 2018.

Trend# 1

Fragmentation in IoT: Big Rock Challenge

While the venture capital is booting the IoT space, there has been a significant influx of network technologies & solutions into the market, developing a highly fragmented scenario within the IoT landscape.

First, well-known wireless networking technologies such as 5G, WiFi, Bluetooth, Zigbee are currently available to support IoT based solutions. Such vivid internet technologies connecting different groups creates interoperability complexity across the various networks.

Second, attaining IoT-enabled automation and predictive analysis to design industry-specific applications, needs a suite of processes to derive & analyze data from disparate devices. Furthermore, the connected equipment with different form factors and operating systems magnifies the complexity.

Thus, the major roadblock in such a fragmented ecosystem that interconnects different technologies will be the interoperability and integration of these processes to achieve the desired end result.

Trend# 2

Window of Vulnerability will be Wide Open

Cybersecurity will be a hot issue in 2018. Fragmentation will lead to extreme integration and interoperability complexities. This threat will not only remain limited to network security, but it will be a major challenge in managing and controlling connected assets.

Moreover, securing all the assets in an ecosystem without any standard industry regulation will be a big challenge.

Finding a solution that can secure all data sources and keep the data safe from all the vulnerabilities will be main goal of the year and one of the hottest IoT Industry Trends in 2018.

Trend# 3

Edge Networking will be less of a Trend and More of a Necessity

An exponential rise in data glut via IoT results in enterprises needing to find cost-effective ways to monetize consumer data.

So, Edge Computing will leave no stones unturned when it comes to operating close to IoT based equipment and sensors with different form factor and OS such as wearable, automobiles, home appliances, turbines, industrial controllers, etc. and optimizing the cloud usage. Edge computing will be required to run the real-time services as it operates close to the sources and streamlines the inflow of traffic from these sources.

Edge computing will minimize a big chunk of complexity when it comes to the cloud handling, managing data from disparate sources and delivering real-time services.It will be one of the most required and in-demand IoT industry trend that will that will take the entire industry by storm.

Trend# 4

Enterprise Mobility: de Facto IoT Companion

The current trend of mobile platforms getting ubiquitous in enterprises, will result in enterprise mobility playing a crucial role in IoT device management.

Today’s mobility landscape is all about collaborating workforce with BYOD model but with increased addition of IoT based sensors and wearable technologies into the workflow. It is quite evident that IoT and enterprise mobility- as a team, will play a serious game that will matter to the business goals.

As known, mobility and IoT in enterprises, are still in their infancy and their mix will continually evolve. The next mobility projects will get developed with cutting-edge technology in compliance with the business that is built around deriving value from IoT based devices.

The first movers have already begun to refine while the late-comers will directly jump into the blend. IoT industry trends in 2018 will witness a strong convergence between IoT and enterprise mobility.

Trend# 5

The Year of Bells, Dings & Whistles

For retailers, current IoT trends will play a crucial role in improving customer engagement and salesin 2018, 2019 and beyond. Current year will be the year when customers will hear more alerts about offers, incentives and other news regarding office, home & shopping.

In-store beacons will flourish and help retailers to identify a nearby mobile app user and approach with a personalized message. Location-based IoT beacons, sensors and analytics solution will drive the retail space by empowering marketers to send direct personalized messages to customer’s phone, wearable or adaptive in-store digital signage display.

Plus, IoT will tell where customers are spending time inside the store, giving marketers valuable data about customer behaviour and preferences.

Industry experts say that about 79% of retailers will start to use the IoT technology to transform their business in better way that is going to one of the productive IoT industry trend that is going to stay forever.

Trend# 6

Data Deluge Ahead: the Rise of Machine Learning & Advanced Analytics

Just as the abundance of data will push enterprises to the edge computing, it will also push them to machine learning. Machine learning and AI will be the leading technologies to manage the data flowing from IoT devices.

The year will also witness a steady growth in advance analytics solutions to provide a real-time streaming of data from IoT devices. Multiple analytics solution providers will be seen making noise in the arena.

Undoubtedly, the data deluge will give birth to numerous new entrants in machine & IoT analytics space to churn and manage valuable data insights.

Trend# 7

Blockchain and IoT to Dominate Headlines in 2018

The IoT devices, as they increase in abundance, lack standard authentication protocols to secure enterprise data. The probability of intruders penetrating through the vast array of IoT devices into the infrastructure is way higher than ever before. Hence, for widespread adoption of IoT, it is crucial that the industry should look at establishing standardized trust & authentication across all aspects of its ecosystem.

This is where the distributed architecture of blockchain proves to be the lifesaver to tackle trust and security challenge.

The distributed ledger in Blockchain empower the IoT devices to maintain standard identification, authentication, seamless secure data transfer and prevent duplication with any other malicious data.

The operation costs of IoT can be cut down through blockchain since there is no intermediary. The convergence of blockchain and IoT will improve customer experience, simplify workflow, cater to limitless opportunities.

Trend# 8

IT and OT will Walk Together

Operational technology (OT) and Information technology (IT) are conventionally separate organizational units. But, this trend is likely to change in 2018. The extreme inception of IoT into shop floor has compelled OT and IT teams to work closely to deploy IIoT solutions.

Today, analytical tools are majorly used by end users such as plant operators and field workers. Thus, operational decisions can be derived real time to optimize future performance.

IoT solutions will be deployed and driven by business operational teams, more than IT teams. Meanwhile, the OT teams will take the IIOT charge in 2018 and will be one of the greatest IoT trends.

Trend# 9

Investors to Break the Bank

The market is going to see a lot of money in the IoT space. The past has shown eye-popping investments and 2018 will show a relative trajectory. And as said before by 2021 the business spending in IoT will touch $6 Trillion.

Enterprises will continue to invest in IoT hardware, services, software, and connectivity and its going persist as an evergreenIoT trends. Almost every industry will be benefited from its rapid growth.

The biggest slice of funding until 2021 will go into hardware making especially sensors and modules but is also predicted to be outstripped by the fast-growing services category.

IoT’s indisputable impact will allure more venture capitalists towards highly innovative projects. They will continue to break the banks with the promise of IoT by underlining its caliber to improve customer experience and revenue in almost every industry.

Tarams Final Verdict

As a technology consulting and product engineering firm we strongly believe that these 9 trends will play a game-changing role in 2018. However, we also expect new trends to unfold that aren’t on the horizon yet.

We also believe that 2018 won’t be a silver bullet year for IoT but will be a year of preparation for building a widespread and robust foundation for the technology in next five years.

Readers, if you have thoughts on these or if you think that we have missed on any other trends that you believe will propel IoT, please comment below, we would enjoy hearing from you.

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