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This is our third year running predictions for the Industrial IoT (read 2016 and 2017 predictions). While there are many predictions out there, none are as insightful, comprehensive and, dare I say it, accurate as what we receive from the IoT Central community.

So who got it right in 2017? 

  • Loudon Blair, Senior Director, Corporate Strategy, Ciena predicted that IoT will open new opportunities for carriers. In 2017 he said 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.
  • Stephen Gates, Chief Research Intelligence Analyst at NSFOCUS predicted the Weaponization of Industrial IoT - Industrial and municipal IoT is growing rapidly and not only can these devices potentially be used to attack others externally, their vulnerable nature may be used against the industrial organizations operating critical infrastructure themselves, opening them up to intrusion and critical infrastructure outages.
  • Jim Koenig, Counsel in the Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice, Paul Hastings, LLP called it when he said, “In 2017 and going forward, concerns over privacy and security will emerge, and the use of facial recognition, biometrics and observed behavior patterns to authenticate that a specific person is requesting an action or permits a set of curated services will be on the rise."
  • Kevin Meagher Senior Vice President for Business Development, ROC-Connect looked at insurance companies and said that they will start to invest more in a move to adapt to the IoT and that 2017 was critical for them as they work to embrace the IoT with early consumer offerings in an effort to avoid the fate of retailers who ignored the internet and allowed Amazon to get a foothold in their market.

So who will get it right in 2018? Here’s our list of predictions for the the Industrial Internet of Things for 2018.

Maciej Kranz, Vice President of Strategic Innovation at Cisco

In 2018, we will see the convergence of IoT devices with these key, leading technologies. This will help companies obtain greater value from their IoT investments and overcome previous barriers to broader IoT adoption, such as challenges with security, bandwidth and analytics. Specifically, machine learning/AI will enable deeper analysis of real-time IoT data streams to drive more powerful decision making. Fog computing makes this data available at the edge of the network where the connected devices and sensors are (rather than “in the cloud”), thus solving latency, bandwidth and reliability issues that previously limited IoT performance. And, blockchain provides secure, audit-level tracking of IoT data transactions, eliminating the need for a central, trusted intermediary between communicating devices. Up until this point, enterprise IoT deployments have mostly focused on automating existing business processes and creating incremental improvements to efficiency or productivity. However, when combined with AI, fog computing and blockchain, the IoT is able to truly transform businesses and even entire industries by creating new revenue streams, new business models and more. As a result, businesses will finally be able to experience the full potential of the IoT and the value it can deliver.

Woodson Martin, EVP and General Manager, Salesforce IoT, Salesforce

In 2018, industrial organizations will prioritize developing business apps that take advantage of IoT data in real-time. Low-code orchestration will be the catalyst for this change - empowering any employee, regardless of developer skill level,  to build proactive sales, service and marketing processes, powered by IoT data, with point-and-click ease.

For example, admins at a manufacturing company will be able to build, with point-and-click ease, automated workflows that trigger service calls whenever a factory robot issues a component failure alert. This is just one example of how, with minimal support from IT, business users and citizen developers will soon be able to harness IoT data to open new revenue streams through digital transformation.

Oliver Schabenberger, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer, SAS

Industrial companies that succeed in capturing the promise of the IoT will be the ones who succeed at the data management aspect. Applying analytics to streaming data is no easy task. Success means melding the sensor side of the IoT equation with the big data and analytics side. Loading and processing data faster than they’ve ever done it before – especially regarding data that’s moving – means shifting to new technologies such as applications that address production quality, field quality and asset performance analytics in a coordinated fashion. But doing so will help the organization sustainably grow its analytics capabilities.

Peter Kirk, GE Power Digital

AI and the IIoT Will Propel the Digital Transformation of the Power Industry. Asset-intensive industries, such as the electricity industry, are just at the beginning of deriving value from emerging technologies such as the Industrial Internet or AI, despite the heavy output of machine data. Data coming off of electricity assets will result in terabytes of information that AI can analyze to recognize patterns in machine behavior and make changes based on desired outcomes. In 2018, we predict the continued growth, adoption and collaboration of the IIoT, AI and Digital Twins across the industrial settings will automate basic maintenance processes. This collaboration, creating a human/machine approach to digitizing operations, will free up human capital to focus on high priority operations issues, reducing operations and maintenance budgets, which currently dominate cost profiles across the power industry.

Burcin Kaplanoglu, Senior Director, Industry Strategy and Innovation, Oracle

The growing use of connected devices – aka the Internet of Things (IoT) - is changing that by enabling real-time data collection and proactive management in the construction and engineering space. In IoT systems, thousands of devices will be able to connect wirelessly to routers. Those routers in turn pass data into the cloud at astonishing speeds to run analytics and leverage machines to make decisions. In 2018, artificial intelligence (AI) will play a big role in IoT decision making. Rather than act individually, devices will communicate with each other and create a collective system similar to an organism. We believe robots, drones, exoskeletons, and autonomous construction equipment are also part of the larger IoT ecosystem, as they will always be connected and provide data points to improve operations onsite. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will also allow us to better communicate and act on the information collected and to collaborate more effectively.

IoT Central members can see all the remaining predictions in our exclusive member's only sectionBecome a member today. It's free!

Photo credit Denys Nevozhai

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David Oro is the Editor at IoT Central

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