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50 Predictions for the Internet of Things in 2017

Last year we put together our first ever predictions list looking at what would come to the Industrial Internet of Things in 2016. No one predicted at the time the biggest IoT story of 2016: massive DDoS attacks via the Internet of Things. To their credit, there were many security predictions for 2016, but no one nailed #DDoS.

For 2017, we asked our members, industry contacts and friends for their predictions around the Internet of Things. What new technologies will appear? Which companies will succeed or fail? What platforms will take off? What security challenges will the industry face? Will enterprises finally realize the benefits of IoT?

The 50 predictions in this list focus on the Industrial side of the Internet of Things. The list is global in perspective and includes predictions from researchers, professors, independents, start-ups and major brand names like Autodesk, AT&T, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hitachi, Intel, Salesforce, and many others.

We received hundreds of inquiries and obviously couldn’t include them all, so if you submitted a prediction and it’s not listed here, know that we read it and appreciate your contribution. Thank you!

Without further adieu, here are the 50 Predictions for the Internet of Things in 2017.

Sanjay Sarma, head of MIT’s open and digital learning efforts and lead instructor “Internet of Things: Roadmap to a Connected World

2017 will be the year we start to bring order to the chaos of IoT. Right now, every connected device talks to each other in a different way. Devices remain siloed in their independent systems, creating a complex communication environment. What’s more, this patchwork of systems is difficult to maintain, upgrade and improve. This is a serious problem that will need to be addressed as the IoT expands, otherwise there is a real chance that the power of the IoT could be compromised.  

In the months to come, we will likely see focus shift to establishing paradigms for effective implementations and use of IoT. There will also be a push for government to get involved. For example, we might see initiatives or agencies that can be used to incubate academic institutions, labs and companies testing and working on best practices for the IoT.

What’s clear is that we need a unified approach that creates genuine ‘interconnectness.’ In my view, this is what will allow us to realize the true potential of the IoT

Pieter van Schalkwyk, CEO, XMPro

IIoT Ecosystem will start to formalize

Industrial IoT requires an ecosystem of partners to provide advisory, technology and services that collectively create effective solutions for customers. In 2017 we will see that some of these relationships start to formalize in different industries and for different use cases as these partners become experienced in working together to create real IoT solutions.

Leadership in IIoT platforms for major vendors

Industrial B2B customers are historically more conservative than the consumer market and these customers will look to support platform offerings from their existing enterprise solution providers such as SAP and GE, rather than the hundreds of independent small consumer centric IoT platforms. The industrial IOT ecosystems that I mentioned earlier, will form around a few of these leading industrial IoT platforms.

ROI case studies for IIoT will start to emerge

In 2015 industrial companies were talking about IoT, in 2016 they started planning how to leverage IoT, and in 2017 we will see real examples and case studies emerge. It will highlight the areas where IoT can provide a significant ROI contribution, but also expose the hype areas where there is no real value other than the “coolness” factor. The combination of the ecosystems and the platforms will lead to real solutions that start to solve real problems.

Loudon Blair, Senior Director, Corporate Strategy, Ciena

IoT will open new opportunities for carriers. This year we’ll see carriers face up to the challenges of digital disruption: avoiding service commoditization and building compelling digital services to compete with Over-The-Top players. Their efforts will focus on the opportunities on offer in the emerging IoT market, and as they launch IoT services and platforms, carriers will benefit from two core differentiators. First, they already own the network: the key piece of infrastructure needed to realize consumer IoT services. Second, carriers ‘own’ the customers as subscribers to their networks.

Chris Penrose, Senior Vice President of IoT, AT&T

AT&T has identified five major IoT trends and predictions for 2017:

1) Global IoT will be impossible without a network scaled to match, and a robust, multi-layer integrated network approach will open new global IoT opportunities.

2) Companies both large and small will look to enterprise-level leaders to respond to their needs for a variety of connectivity solutions. Large-scale, optimized IoT solutions will enable companies to more efficiently manage assets and improve operations.

3) IoT will continue to blur between B2B and B2C solutions so that technologies advance both enterprise and consumer interests. Enterprises and innovators will join forces to manage and even evolve customer expectations, allowing them to do more than they ever thought possible.

4) Through a proliferation of sensors virtually everywhere, millions of new data points and thousands of use cases will be developed. As a result, the rate of data collection will increase algorithmically, not linearly, making more information available than ever before.

5) IoT security will remain a top concern in the upcoming year. Items like network-connected wearables or smart coffee pots will become of increasing interest to hackers due to the often limited attention paid to security in their development cycles.

Vincent Granville, Pioneering Data Scientist, Data Science Central

The rise of sensor data - that is, IoT - will create data inflation. Data quality, data relevancy, and security will continue to be of critical importance. The frontier between AI, IoT, data science, machine learning, deep learning and operations research will become more fuzzy. Editor's Note: For a full list of Vincent's predictions go to our sister site Data Science Central here.

Dr. Chase Cunningham, Director of Cyber Security Operations, A10 Networks

IoT continues to pose a major threat. In late 2016, all eyes were on IoT-borne attacks. Threat actors were using Internet of Things devices to build botnets to launch massive distrubted denial of service (DDoS) attacks. In two instances, these botnets collected unsecured “smart” cameras. As IoT devices proliferate, and everything has a Web connection — refrigerators, medical devices, cameras, cars, tires, you name it — this problem will continue to grow unless proper precautions like two-factor authentication, strong password protection and others are taken.  Device manufacturers must also change behavior. They must scrap default passwords and either assign unique credentials to each device or apply modern password configuration techniques for the end user during setup. Editor's Note: For a full list of Chase's predictions go here.

Rod Schultz, VP of Product, Rubicon Labs

Business models will be the new ‘it’ thing to innovate (think Uber for anything and everything), as the value of IoT is realized. The transition from Capex to Opex-based business models, built directly on the power of IoT, will drive innovation and unlock new business models and subscription-driven services for industries that have been static for years.

Robert Vamosi, CISSP, Security Strategist, Synopsys, Inc.

Embedded Security will finally get serious.  Devices, once thought to be too small to include their own security, will undergo a more thorough analysis beginning with firmware testing. The software inside the chip is just as important as the application controlling it. Both need to be tested for security and quality. Some of the early IoT botnets have leveraged vulnerabilities and features within the device itself

Bryan Kester, Head of IoT, Autodesk

Editor’s Note: We interviewed Bryan earlier this year. Read about it here.

My predictions for 2017 in IoT:

1) In 2017, the focus on IoT will shift noticeably away from consumer use cases, like smart toasters and toothbrushes, to industrial and B2B use cases, like connected factories, warehouses, and robots. Edge platforms that focused on “makers” and IoT enthusiasts will pivot to the enterprise, following opportunities to monetize their offerings. However, a number of these IoT platforms will likely go out of business following unsuccessful pivots.

2) There will be another IoT security breach in the headlines. Odds are, someone will be careless with security and the media is on the lookout for these types of stories.

3) There will be an increased focus on case studies and real examples of IoT ROI as the 2013-2015 pioneer projects start generating compelling metrics. A handful of these examples may be in the emerging field of Machine Learning, and how it can fuse together with IoT for predictive and autonomous operations.

IoT Central members can see all the predictions here. Become a member today here. It's free!

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50 Predictions for the Internet of Things in 2016

Earlier this year I wrote a piece asking “Do you believe the hype?” It called out an unlikely source of hype: the McKinsey Global Institute. The predictions for IoT in the years to come are massive. Gartner believes IoT is a central tenet of top strategic technology trends in 2016. Major technology players are also taking Big Swings. Louis Columbus, writing for Forbes, gathered all the 2015 market forecasts and estimates here.

So what better way to end the year and look into the future than by asking the industry for their predictions for the IoT in 2016. We asked for predictions aimed at the industrial side of the IoT. What new technologies will appear? Which companies will succeed or fail? What platforms will take off? What security challenges will the industry face? Will enterprises finally realize the benefits of IoT? We heard from dozens of startups, big players and industry soothsayers. In no particular order, here are the Internet of Things Predictions for 2016.

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Photo Credit: Sean Creamer via Flickr

Nathaniel Borenstein, inventor of the MIME email protocol and chief scientist Mimecast

“The maturation of the IoT will cause entirely new business models to emerge, just as the Internet did. We will see people turning to connected devices to sell things, including items that are currently "too small" to sell, thus creating a renewed interest in micropayments and alternate currencies. Street performers, for example, might find they are more successful if a passerby had the convenience of waving a key fob at their "donate here" sign. The IoT will complicate all aspects of security and privacy, causing even more organizations to outsource those functions to professional providers of security and privacy services.”

Adam Wray, CEO, Basho

"The deluge of Internet of Things data represents an opportunity, but also a burden for organizations that must find ways to generate actionable information from (mostly) unstructured data. Organizations will be seeking database solutions that are optimized for the different types of IoT data and multi-model approaches that make managing the mix of data types less operationally complex.”

Geoff Zawolkow, CEO, Lab Sensor Solutions

“Sensors are changing the face of medicine. Mobile sensors are used to automatically diagnosis disease and suggest treatment, bringing us closer to having a Star Trek type Tricorder. Also mobile sensors will ensure the quality of our drugs, diagnostic samples and other biologically sensitive materials through remote monitoring, tracking and condition correction.”

Zach Supalla, CEO, Particle

“2016 isn't the Year of IoT (yet)- It's A Bump in the Road. The industry has been claiming it’s the year of IoT for the last ​five years - let’s stop calling it the year of the IoT and let's start to call it the year of experimentation. 2016 will be the year that we recognize the need for investment, but we’re still deeply in the experimental phase. 2016 will be the bump in the road year - but at the end of it, we’ll have a much better idea of how experiments should be run, and how organizations can “play nicely” within their own walls to make IoT a reality for the business.”

Borys Pratsiuk, Ph.D, Head of R&D Engineering, Ciklum

"The IoT in medicine in 2016 will be reflected in deeper consumption of the biomedical features for non-invasive human body diagnostics. Key medical IoT words for next year are the following: image processing, ultrasound, blood analysis, gesture detection, integration with smart devices. Bluetooth and WiFi will be the most used protocols in the integration with mobile."

Brian T. Patterson, President, EMerge Alliance US Representative, International Electrotechnical Council

“IoT to Enable an Enernet 2016 will see the IoT starting to play a major role in the evolution of a new, more resilient, efficient, flexible and sustainable 21st Century electric energy platform. IoT connected sensors and microcontrollers will enable the effective and efficient management of a true mesh network of building and community level microgrids, which in turn will enable the greater use of distributed renewable energy sources like solar, wind, bio fuel micro-turbines and fuel cells. The convergence of data networks and physical energy grids will give rise to what will become the Enernet, a data driven transactional energy network.”

Chris Rommel, Executive VP, IoT & Embedded Technology, VDC Research

“PaaS Solution Evolution to Cannibalize IoT Platform Opportunity: The landscape of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions is changing rapidly. In 2015, leading PaaS providers IBM, Oracle, and SAP threw their hats into the “IoT platform” ring. As quickly as the value of PaaS solutions had been placed on the consumerization and user experiences of development platform offerings, premiums have now been placed on the ease of back-end integrations. However, the value associated with time to market in the Internet of Things marketplace is too high. IoT solution development and engineering organizations still want the flexible benefits offered by PaaS development, but they also require a breadth of out-of-the-box integrations to mitigate the downstream engineering and deployment hassles caused by heterogeneous IoT systems and networks topologies. The desire and need for enterprise organizations to tightly integrate deployed systems' operations with enterprise business functions are reshaping PaaS selection. The need for tight, out-of-the-box integrations extends beyond the back-end, however. Bi-directional integration is critical. The heterogeneous nature of the IoT and wide range of device form factors, components and functions is too complex and costly to rely on bespoke integrations. As such, we expect the aforementioned PaaS leaders to accelerate their ecosystem development efforts in 2016. Although we likely won’t see any real winners yet emerge in the IoT PaaS space, I do expect that the investments made by the aforementioned large players to threaten the market opportunity available to smaller IoT-focused platform vendors like Arrayent and Carriots.”

Laurent Philonenko, CTO, Avaya

“Surge in connected devices will flood the network – the increasing volume of data and need for bandwidth for a growing number of IoT connected devices such as healthcare devices, security systems and appliances will drive traditional networks to the breaking point. Mesh topologies and Fabric-based technologies will quickly become adopted as cost-effective solutions that can accommodate the need for constant changes in network traffic.”


Lila Kee, Chief Product Officer and Vice President, Business Development, GlobalSign

“Prediction: PKI becomes ubiquitous security technology within the Internet of Things (IoT) market. It's hard to think of a consumer device that isn't connected to the Internet these days - from our baby monitors to our refrigerators to our fitness devices. With the increase of connected devices of course comes risk of exposing privacy and consumer data. But, what happens when industrial devices and critical infrastructure connect to the Internet and get hacked? The results can be catastrophic. Security and safety are real concerns for the Internet of Things (IoT) and especially in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Regarding security, the industrial world has been a bit of a laggard, but now equipment manufacturers are looking to build security in right at the design and development stages. Unless the security challenges of IIoT can be managed, the exciting progress that has been made in this area of connected devices will slow down dramatically. PKI has been identified as a key security technology in the IIoT space by the analyst community and organizations supporting the IIoT security standards. In 2016, we expect that PKI will become ubiquitous security technology within the IoT market. There will be an increased interest in PKI, how it plays in the IoT market and how it needs to advance and scale to meet the demands of billions of devices managed in the field.”

IoT Central members can see all the predictions here. Become a member today here

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