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Once a buzzword, the “internet of things” (IoT) industry is now booming and delivering real benefits and opportunities for organizations dedicated to improving efficiency, product and service delivery, and customer satisfaction.

With studies predicting the continued growth of the industry and massive adoption and integration levels in the future, the CIOs and CTOs who are engaging these technologies are positioned to become digital leaders in their respective industries.

Let’s explore emerging trends in the IoT space that are driving digital business transformation.

Here are the 7 factors you need to know about now:



1. IoT, meet AI.


Gartner predicts the number of IoT devices will reach 20 billion by next year. Since data is the fuel driving the trend, the long-term success of organizations in the global marketplace will be determined by their ability to derive meaning from the reams of data garnered by the IoT devices they deploy. Although the current artificial intelligence (AI) technology landscape is complex, most IoT vendors are looking to apply AI to wide arrays of IoT-derived data, including network traffic activity, speech, images, sensor data and video.


2. Intelligent mesh architectures are changing everything.


Players in the IoT space are already moving from the cloud (or centralized) to edge architectures. However, the neatly layered structure that edge architectures are known for are expected to evolve to a largely unstructured design, comprising of a wide range of services and things “connected” in a dynamic mesh. While this change can increase the complexity of the overall infrastructure, mesh architectures will mean a more robust, flexible, responsive and intelligent IoT system.


3. There are more questions about ethical IoT.


As the industry continues to experience massive growth, ethical, legal and social issues about the collation and use of IoT data have started adding up. These issues include compliance with regulations such as the GDPR, privacy concerns, algorithmic bias and the ownership of both connected things data as well as the deductions derived from it.

Your organization should not only deploy technically effective solutions but should also do so in an ethical and socially responsible manner. CIOs and other C-level executives should review corporate strategies and start educating their staff on ethical internet of things.


4. More is possible with broader sensor availability.


Recent advancements have enabled the development of new sensors capable of detecting and recording a wider range of events and situations. New algorithms and applications are also emerging to fuel more meaning from data captured by current sensor technologies.

Meanwhile, it’s expected that the tableau of sensors currently in the market will drop in price, making them more affordable. It’s important to keep an eye on the sensor market to uncover new technologies that can mean new opportunities and a way to further business objectives.


5. Data broking is officially becoming a thing.


A recent Gartner survey on the IoT projects indicated that 35% of respondents plan to sell data collected by their products. By 2023, the monetization or broking of data is expected to become a key aspect of most IoT implementations.

Enterprises should be mindful of the opportunities and risks associated with data broking. Start by putting in place IT policies to ensure compliance with industry regulations and ethical.


6. IoT data usage, IoT governance and advanced networking are necessary.


With the explosive growth of the IoT industry, there is a growing need for an effective governance framework to ensure appropriate behavior in the creation, use, deletion and storage of data from IoT projects. This ranges from factors as simple as firmware updates and device audits to strict controls over devices and the data they generate.

Meanwhile, IoT networking requires organizations to balance various requirements including range, quality of service, operating cost, connection density, latency, bandwidth, power consumption and endpoint cost. Since networking technology that optimizes all the above requirements do not exist (at least not yet), companies are expected to take up the challenge. Experts are predicting that these organizations will provide the industry with networking tech that leverages backscatter networks, low earth orbit satellites and 5G.


7. User experience is everything.


In the coming years, the IoT user experience space is expected to become more critical and take center stage. IoT UX covers a wide range of design techniques and technologies. With the continued growth of the industry precipitating more interactions with devices without keyboards/screens, UX designers must adopt new concepts, perspectives and technologies to deliver a superior UX that promotes device usage, reduces friction and engages users.


What these trends mean for your organization?

Emerging IoT technologies and trends have the potential to create new revenue streams and innovative user experiences while empowering disruptive business models. Organizations must be sure that they have the right talent and support in place to take advantage of the latest innovation and stay ahead of the curve.

Gain deeper insights.

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