Our Take: 2017 IoT Trends to Watch

In 2016 Rigado had the opportunity to work on many innovative products for our commercial, industrial and consumer customers while introducing several new products of our own to help facilitate the next generation of IoT solutions. In that vein, as 2017 ramps up, we’ve decided to dive in and make a few predictions for the IoT market this year. Based on our experience across industries and in working closely with an IoT ecosystem of partners, customers, analysts, and end users, we believe the following trends will have the largest impact on the industry as a whole in the year ahead.

 

1. Companies Get Serious About Managing In-Field Devices

If Gartner is correct, we can expect 4.8 million new devices to come online in 2017 alone. How companies manage those devices will become a major concern of device manufacturers and consumers alike. Everything from IoT device provisioning, monitoring, updating and configuration management will become a strategic imperative as organizations dig deeper into what it means to manage whole IoT systems and networks that continue to grow in complexity and importance to the business. As a result, in 2017 we will see a growing sense of urgency for DevOps-like processes and procedures for in-field device management.

 

2. Consumer Goods Piggyback on the Success of Industrial IoT

According to a survey of industrial executives released by GenPact, 96% of executives from companies with over $1B in annual revenue agreed that successful adoption of the industrial IoT was critical for success. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention and 2016 proved this adage true for industrial applications of IoT. Seeing real successes, industrial IoT made strides forward in everything from agriculture field equipment monitoring to smart meters and smart waste management to healthcare wearables.

Like the proverbial younger child who can crawl, walk and run sooner by watching their older sibling, consumer products companies were able to watch the early successes of industrial IoT in 2016. They made note of what worked, what didn’t and how they could best incorporate a growing field of best practices into their IoT approach. 2017 will be the breakout year for companies making IoT for consumer applications in which they will incorporate future-proofing, security, and new business models as pioneered by IIoT.

3. The Border Router/Gateway Market Expands

Sensors are being added to everything from jet engines to farm equipment. The amount of data they collect is, to put it lightly, huge. Getting this data from the field and into the cloud for analysis will continue to be a challenge. Illustrating the size of the problem, AWS recently announced Snowmobile, a semi-truck trailer designed for one purpose: to shuttle exabytes of data from data centers to the cloud.

Yet, as data from remote devices needs to be collected and analyzed, there will be an increasing prevalence of border routers/gateways to smartly move the data collection and analysis burden to the edge. In this way, organizations will get more strategic about how much and which types of data are sent to the cloud for macroanalysis and which data points are better acted upon in the field. We see gateways playing an integral role in this strategy in 2017.

4. Big Data Gets Big Again

Continuing with the theme of data collection, and to make sure that we don’t understate the amount of data that is being collected by IoT sensors, we see big data as a leading trend in 2017. Now that organizations are seeing early success with IoT, the next step in creating and maintaining competitive advantage is in analyzing the data created. While getting data into the cloud can be a challenge in and of itself — especially if devices are collecting data in remote areas with intermittent connectivity — making sense of that amount of data may require even greater heavy lifting.

Laborious as it may be, making sense of all the data collected will be critical for understanding and growing the business. With such great volumes of data, complex connections are now possible. As such, big data in IoT will see the application of machine learning to better understand correlations, report on anomalies and make predictions. Last, all this data needs to be protected, which brings us full circle to the need for IoT security.

5. Security Will Be Front and Center

As readers likely recall, September saw a large DDoS attack on Brian Krebs, of Krebs on Security, and a leading voice in the security industry. Krebs was struck by a DDoS attack launched almost exclusively by a very large botnet of hacked devices; this threat from IoT-based botnets created the largest DDoS attack on record at the time. This attack was followed by several others, such as the one  at Dyn that took down popular websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and PayPal for most of a day.

After these high profile incidents and subsequent government guidance on IoT security, it’s certainly no surprise that security is on the mind of both producers as well as consumers of IoT products. We see this trend only gaining steam in 2017 with more attention being paid to security across the entire IoT stack — from cloud to chip.

What do you think the biggest trends will be? Share your thoughts on which IoT trends will most affect the market in 2017 in the comments below or send us an email.