What Are Some Of The Top Predictions For The IoT in 2019?

It’s that time of year when we see a treasure trove of forecasts for the year ahead. Whilst these predictions are hardly an exact science, it’s interesting to read the commentary as a gauge to what the future might hold in terms of the IoT – the internet-enabled technology that promises to connect assets, data and people, and give organisations new ways to optimise existing operations and create new opportunities for growth. We’ve seen projections come from Gartner, Forrester, Arm Semiconductors and others, but for the purposes of this blog let’s follow what Forbes said.

IoT Prediction 1: Growth Across The Board

Whilst there is no agreement between industry observers on the actual numbers, they all have one thing in common – the predictions are massive. IDC is predicting worldwide IoT spending to reach $1.2 trillion by 2022. Erickson is forecasting the number of devices with IoT connections to reach 3.5 billion in 2023, increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 30% fuelled by North East Asia which is anticipated to account for 2.2 billion of those connections.

Digital analyst GSMA Intelligence’s real-time device tracker estimates that there are now more than 8.98 billion active mobile connections globally compared to 7.28 billion the last time we reported on this stat a few years back in ‘Is Business Ready For The ‘Internet Of Assets’?’. This is not just about mobile devices, rather it represents the interconnection of all sorts of uniquely identifiable devices [including M2M connections] across the worldwide internet infrastructure.

This also means more data and traffic on an already congested internet which has led many to predict a bigger push towards ‘edge computing’ where data is processed by a local device, computer or server near the source, rather than being transmitted to a data centre. Edge computing reduces internet bandwidth usage, enables more efficient data processing, including real-time data processing without lag and latency. It also allows smart mobile applications and devices to respond to data as it’s being received – critical for technologies such as self-driving cars and mining trucks and managing assets in remote locations. In addition, the ability to process data that is distributed at ‘the edge’ without it going into a public cloud adds a useful layer of data security.

IoT Prediction 2: Deeper Penetration In Manufacturing And Healthcare

It is anticipated that the IoT will be a key driver of digital transformation in asset-intensive industries such as mining and manufacturing. Sensors, RFID tags, and beacons will find their way into every part of the production process from design, configuration, and operation to global supply chain management. Manufacturers will be able to prevent delays, improve performance, reduce equipment downtime and manage inventory much more effectively.

Hospitals and healthcare is another industry on the cusp of transformation. Deployment of auto-ID, RFID, IoT sensors and better connectivity in hospitals will mean that hospital personnel will have real-time visibility into the location of their equipment, reducing the time to find critical medical equipment. You can read more about these benefits in ‘Preventing Equipment Loss in Hospitals and Emergency Services with Asset Intelligence’ and ‘Improve Safety and Reduce the Cost of Recalls with 
Unique Device ID’s

IoT Prediction 3: Increased Security At Device End Points

This prediction has ties to the ‘edge computing’ concept discussed in IoT prediction 1 in that a significant challenge will be keeping all those millions of IoT device endpoints secure. Endpoint security is the process of securing desktop and mobile devices, IoT devices and other network-connected endpoints to block unauthorised users and malware attacks. However, because of enterprise mobile workforces and BYOD, traditional perimeter security solutions are no longer adequate – in that it’s difficult to defend the network when there’s no clearly defined perimeter. Also, security in IoT endpoints is not as robust as it should be because today’s end devices still lack the processing power, storage and memory to support traditional security solutions. In an effort to come up with new ways to tackle these issues, Gartner predicted worldwide spending on IoT security will increase by 28% in the next year.

IoT Prediction 4: Smarter Cities

We’re starting to see real developments, as opposed to hype, in the area of smart cities, something we have blogged about recently in ‘Newcastle Deploying LPWAN IoT Platform to Provide Deeper Asset Intelligence and Insight’. Another interesting project is being undertaken by Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet (i.e. aka Google) endeavour, who is building a smart neighbourhood in Toronto, Canada. Smart sensors will record everything from walking routes, shared car use, building occupancy, sewage flow, temperature and more 24/7 with the goal of creating a better urban living. The model combines innovative urban design and new digital technology to create people-centred neighbourhoods that achieve precedent-setting levels of sustainability, affordability, mobility, and economic opportunity.

IoT Prediction 5: More Connected Smart Cars

The IoT is not just for smart homes and buildings. Today we are also seeing more vehicles on the market that give owners a in internet-connected app that delivers real-time diagnostic information and trend data over time such as tyre pressure, oil level, fuel consumption and more. However diagnostic information is not the only IoT advancement that we will see in the next year. Self-driving car concepts such as Waymo, which began as the Google Self-Driving Car Project in 2009, is highly-anticipated transform the way we drive whilst improving safety and congestion as a result.

Many projects, and indeed industries, are witnessing the early yet profound effects of the IoT, and there are still a great many new ideas yet to be explored. Relegen is excited about the opportunity of helping organisations investigate this enabling technology so they can make better connections between assets, data and decision-makers and improve through-life data integrity, enterprise-wide visibility, item-level identification and traceability of physical assets and operational risk. If you’d like to learn more about Relegen’s IoT-ready secure serialisation and asset data management platform and discuss your project needs, please reach out to us on sales@relegen.com or +61 (0)2 9998 9000.