Sustainability will drive IoT demand in 2019

IoT has been looking for a broad based trend powered by real ROI that will drive wide adoption. We are starting to see early signs that this will come in the form of sustainability. CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) amongst the Global Fortune 500 stands at $20B annually. Amongst the top initiatives that are being pursued in CSR according to a McKinsey study are reductions in energy, emissions, water, and waste consumption. We have seen renewed interest amongst corporations to leverage IoT to explicitly monitor and manage energy and water consumption, as significant expenses that hit a corporate’s bottom line. Look for some significant sustainability powered IoT deployments in 2019.

AI will drive demand for cheap, low power IoT sensors and data

The AI (artificial intelligence) data rush continues to move ahead. Enterprise thirst for data knows no bounds. AI will continue to drive corporations on a search to gather and extract more data from assets that they deploy and manage as part of a desire to create a digital twin of physical assets. While many critical assets have now been instrumented with dedicated hard wired connections to extract data, the challenge becomes how to easily get data from secondary assets which are currently “dark” and about which little is known. Look for renewed deployments of low cost, low powered IoT solutions and cost-effective connectivity to fill the void and help enterprises extract this data to complete their AI mandates.

IoT security will be a focus

While there has been a relative absence of many large scale attention grabbing hacks into enterprise IoT devices in recent times, the continued deployment of these devices continues across corporations globally, the risks of a major security data hack increase, which will keep IoT security well in focus.

Move from cloud to edge will accelerate

2019 will see greater demand for more on-premise decision making. A desire for low latency decision making by processing sensor data closer to the source and less desire to send terabytes to the cloud will see a growing trend towards more edge focused decision making and localized processing. Look for the deployment of more sophisticated edge product and enhanced use of sensor-based analytics at the edge.

Enterprises will put greater emphasis on global IOT solutions

Enterprises will start thinking of their IoT deployments more holistically. That is getting some universality across their deployments to achieve a homogenous and consistent experience across borders, in all locations. This will achieve ease of implementation and ease of management. Vendors who can scale and truly deploy globally will be preferred and see the most traction.

Verticalized IoT solutions rather than new platform solutions will be the focus in 2019.

There will be a renewed focus from vendors on delivering hard dollar ROI to end-user enterprises. This will see the development of more verticalized solutions, prioritized by vendors to show an easier calculus of value. The focus of new startups coming to the market will be on delivering solving specific use cases in specific verticals. Also, look for consolidation in the number of pure-play platform providers.

More IoT solutions for compliance and automation

IoT will continue to transform digital automation of routine tasks with greater precision and accuracy, saving corporations the expense and inaccuracy of manual processes. You will see new process automation facilitated by IoT technology beyond temperature monitoring, noise detection, and emission measurement.

Open source protocols will gain more traction at the expense of proprietary

Proprietary protocols that require non-open source technology for which there are no standards will continue to see declining innovation and adoption by vendors. The pain of having technology silos and having to integrate multiple technology infrastructures will see proprietary standards continue to decline in use and relevance.

The industrial market will propel IoT adoption

The early signs of an industrial IoT renaissance are becoming increasingly obvious. While vibration monitoring of machinery and predictive maintenance use cases are the early indicators, more diverse use cases such as waste monitoring on production lines to emission and runoff monitoring and basic temperature and humidity monitoring in factories will result in more significant IoT deployments in the industrial sector, more than any other segment in 2019.

IoT will be increasingly deployed purely for innovation

2019 will see enterprises view their IoT programs as a forum for experimentation and innovation, replete with many different types of sensors deployed just to see what type of data can be extracted and where they can find some easy, low hanging ROI. Experimentation will lead to enterprises doubling down on key solution categories once they have determined that these yield some value. The emphasis will initially be ongoing very broad, to then go deep once tangible business results are seen.