Twenty Internet of Things trends to watch in 2015

This is part of Bill’s series of posts on the Internet of Things (IoT) topic

The Internet of Things (IoT) is in a stage of adoption very similar to what we saw in 2008-10 around cloud computing and in 2011-2013 around big data analytics. Those two trends have been fully defined, and enterprises are actively deploying mission-critical enterprise applications utilizing those technologies. In 2015 we will likely see increased hype around IoT, but we will also begin to see some companies take the lead and implement innovative IoT solutions that increase operating efficiencies, improve customer experiences and drive innovation.

As with any emerging technology area, there is a lot of activity going on in the IoT space. As we continue this IoT blog series in 2015, we will be watching the following 20 trends closely.

1.  Security & privacy: Trust and authentication become critical across all elements of the IoT, including devices, the networks, the cloud and software apps.

Image credit: IBM Smarter Planet blog
Image credit: IBM Smarter Planet blog

2.  Standards: Competing proprietary and open source standards efforts have continued to struggle to come together for common good, but perhaps we will see breakthroughs in 2015.

3.  Hardware: Advanced microcontrollers, systems on chips, and sensor technologies are enabling new types of IoT devices. These devices are also getting smaller, smarter and cheaper.

4.  Software: A huge rush of activity is expected as developers increase their focus on developing IoT platforms and solutions that upload data from sensors and perform the analytics necessary to deliver the insights required for business decisions.

5.  Edge analytics: Increasingly, analytics capabilities will be pushed to the edge of networks. Advanced analytics and dashboards will be needed to provide insights from all the “things.”

6.  Machine-to-machine (M2M) automation: In the future, sensors, devices and whole IoT systems will be talking to each other, providing insights and making decisions without human intervention.

Image credit:  IBM Smarter Planet blog
Image credit: IBM Smarter Planet blog

7.  Platform-to-platform integration: Expect movement from closed platforms toward open IoT platforms that support multiple applications, devices, and networks.

8.  Wearables: This is a key sub segment within the overall IoT market. Watch developments in systems on chips, sensor hubs, sensor fusion, low-power wireless connectivity, battery life and specialized software development platforms to support wearables.

9.  Sensor fusion: Combining data from different sources can improve accuracy. Data from two sensors is better than data from one. Data from lots of sensors is even better.

10.  Sensor hubs: Developers will increasingly experiment with sensor hubs for IoT devices, which will be used to offload tasks from the application processor, cutting down on power consumption and improving battery life in the devices.

11.  Big data: “Things” (sensors, chips, computers) will produce even more data than we have now, taxing our already complex enterprise information management systems.

Image credit: IBM IoT Foundation trial
Image credit: IBM IoT Foundation trial

12.  Blockchain: Using blockchain technology, developers can set up a distributed model that doesn’t require trusting every node in the network.

13.  Success stories: To move from hype to real mass adoption, vendors need to provide customer case studies that show best-of-breed implementations of IoT systems and prove the benefits that await enterprises.

14.  Chief IoT Officer: Expect more senior level execs to be put in place to build the enterprise-wide IoT strategy.

15.  Business processes transformation: IoT enables new automated sense-and-respond systems, disrupting traditional processes and requiring new skills.

16.  Education needed: Demand will rise for education and skills training related to IoT systems, how to develop applications, implement them and what to do with the data collected.

17.  Product design: Consumers and customers will increasingly expect products to come with embedded sensors that can connect to mobile devices and IoT systems.

Image credit: IBM IoT Clarity video
Image credit: IBM IoT Clarity video

18.  Network bandwidth: As more devices come online, networks will clog and service providers will be in a never-ending battle to increase network capacity.

19.  Vertical clouds: Aggregating all this big data and acting on its findings will best be achieved by capturing, analyzing and responding from the cloud. In 2015, expect specialized and vertical IoT cloud services.

20.  Industry partnerships: Traditional IT vendors will accelerate their partnerships with global telecom service providers, semiconductor vendors, and vertical IoT platform providers.

As you can see, a lot will be happening around the Internet of Things in 2015. At IBM, we understand that the Internet of Things is an emerging and disruptive force that integrates devices, data, connections, processes and people. We are not only watching IoT trends – we are actively shaping them.


1 responses to Twenty Internet of Things trends to watch in 2015

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