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.
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.
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.