Continuing the advancements in recent years and owing to the emergence of technologies conducive to the use of connected devices, the expected IoT trends for this year paint a positive picture for the technology and its adopters.
IoT is not the new kid on the block anymore -- the technology has evolved and widely adopted since its very first application. The concept of connecting machines or physical systems has been a subject of interest for a long time for innovators. Businesses always desired machine-to-machine connections so that they can leverage the benefits of connected machinery. Manufacturers and retailers used Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) for inventory management until Kevin Ashton, who coined the term “Internet of Things,” and put forward the idea to reinvent it into a networking technology. And since then, IoT has paved its way into several devices that are adopted by people in their daily lives. First, it was televisions, then thermostats, wearables, and now almost every device is connected with the help of IoT. And, over the years, several IoT trends have emerged and will continue to grow in 2020.
While speaking about IoT trends, the first trend that comes to mind is its ever-increasing adoption in everyday life. According to a study, the IoT market size was $212 billion in 2019, and it will grow to $248 billion in 2020. And it will continue to grow upto $1.6 trillion by 2025. Along with the increasing adoption, there are several other IoT trends that will continue to trend in 2020.
IoT is the core technology to develop smart cities. In the past years, we have seen governments and organizations implementing more IoT devices to take advantage of accessible data. And this data is helping governments and other private businesses to provide enhanced services to citizens of smart cities. The trial of implementing IoT devices for gathering data and analyzing it for various objectives has shown impeccable benefits. And that’s the reason that the smart cities market is expected to grow upto a whopping $237.6 billion by 2023. IoT is the reason why smart cities and sustainability are considered as interconnected. The infrastructure of smart cities like smart buildings and smart parking makes them resilient and sustainable. According to a survey, smart building tech can reap utility savings of 8% to 18% in commercial buildings. And smart parking can help reduce traffic congestion on the roads. Data collected by IoT in smart cities will also help automate several activities like real-time analysis, switching street lights on and off, and enabling sustainable consumption of energy.
In 2020, more development will occur in smart cities, and they will become a mainstream adoption as governments and private organizations across the globe are investing huge amounts in new projects.
The IoT industry is not going to escape from ethical and legal issues any time soon. The nature of IoT is all about monitoring people, collecting data, and sending it for analytics over the network to the manufacturers and third party agencies. And this is an explosive issue for people who want their data to be private and secure. The instances of cybercrime are increasing at a rapid pace. Cybercriminals are constantly finding new ways to penetrate every security measure taken by businesses. And with more data at stage due to IoT devices, the impact of cyberattacks is increasing. Hence, the issues of consumer privacy will take center stage.
IoT also raises a few legal concerns. For instance, whether consumers will be able to sue companies over what happens to their personal data? Or will consumers be able to determine what happens with their data? Several countries have already taken actions to protect consumers’ data. For instance, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enacts laws to protect consumers’ data within the European Union. And other countries have followed, even the US has laws to prohibit companies from misusing consumers’ data. Hence, IoT will soon find itself under the umbrella of GDPR.
Edge computing is a technology that distributes the load of processing data over devices. It usually outperforms cloud computing when it comes to cost and processing speed. IoT devices collect a tremendous amount of data, and transferring data to the clouds requires large bandwidth, which can be costly. Also, data proportionately increases the required storage capacity. A huge amount of data also requires low latency for great processing speed and real-time analytics. And edge computing eliminates the fear of all these issues. Edge computing allows processing data on devices itself, which means only relevant data is transferred over the network to the cloud.
As IoT devices continue to gather more and more data, the shift towards processing data at edge devices will increase. Also, the powerful edge devices are becoming more affordable, which will further encourage the use of edge computing for IoT devices.
As IoT devices are interconnected, hacking a single device can give access to all the connected devices. Also, the ethical and legal concerns around IoT will grow, as mentioned earlier. And this makes security a major concern for IoT technology. Given the security potential of blockchain, it seems like a natural fit for IoT, especially for transactional security. For instance, there are already several startups that have started building modules for IoT devices on the blockchain network. Companies can use blockchain to connect low power IoT devices like routers to the internet for secure data transfer over the decentralized network. It might cost a little to businesses as they will have to hire IoT developers who will have knowledge about the convergence of IoT and blockchain. But, the investment will surely reap benefits as it will help to end the debate about ethical and legal issues of IoT.
As IoT devices continue to gather a huge amount of consumer data, businesses will be able to segment their customers into different categories accurately. And with accurate customer segmentation, organizations will be able to provide enhanced personalized services to customers. For instance, the retail industry can promote relevant products to consumers. And this might help customers come across products that otherwise they wouldn’t have known. Also, it can help send notification about offers on usually brought products. And further, all stores will have an indoor map that can be viewed on smartphones, and it will lead customers to the exact products they want. Thus, with increased adoption of IoT, businesses will provide streamlined personalized services to their customers. This trend will be a major impactor for customer service focused businesses like retail, food and beverage, and financial services.
IoT adoption and technology itself will continue to grow in the future. And businesses should be aware of the ongoing and emerging IoT trends and prepare themselves according to them to get a competitive advantage. And, businesses who haven’t implemented IoT yet, must find a way to incorporate technology into their daily operations if they need to stay ahead in the race to embrace IoT. Insight about IoT trends will also help them to decide how and where to implement the technology and leverage its benefits.
Naveen is the Founder and CEO of Allerin, a software solutions provider that delivers innovative and agile solutions that enable to automate, inspire and impress. He is a seasoned professional with more than 20 years of experience, with extensive experience in customizing open source products for cost optimizations of large scale IT deployment. He is currently working on Internet of Things solutions with Big Data Analytics. Naveen completed his programming qualifications in various Indian institutes.