According to market research firm Gartner, strategically important technology trends such as AI, more sophisticated and less expensive sensors, or new wireless technologies such as 5G will advance the Internet of Things (IoT) in the digital business over the next five years.
At the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona, the market research institute presented its top ten strategic IoT trends for 2018-2023. “CIOs are taking the opportunity to innovate digital innovation in their business,” said Nick Jones , Gartner’s Research VP, at the presentation.
Trend # 1: Artificial Intelligence
Gartner estimates that 14.2 billion connected things will be deployed in 2019, and by 2021 the number of IoT devices is expected to grow to 25 billion, producing an immense amount of data. This is where AI comes into play, because from the point of view of Jones, only the companies that succeed in deriving important insights from IoT data such as videos, images, language, activities in the network or sensor data will be successful in the long run. The Gartner analyst warned, however, that the technology landscape around AI was complex and will hardly change until 2023. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile for CIOs to acquire skills and tools in their organization to use AI in their IoT strategy.
Trend # 2: Social, Legal and Ethical Implications of IoT
From the point of view of the market researchers, the increasing maturity and spread of IoT also increases the social, legal and ethical aspects around the topic. This includes questions on who owns the data collected and lessons learned, how far the results are distorted according to the algorithm used, and how data protection and compliance with regulations such as DSGVO / GDPR can be guaranteed.
“In order to successfully use an IoT solution, it must not only be technically effective, but also socially acceptable,” Jones said. The Gartner analyst recommends CIOs in this regard to educate themselves and their team in this area and to consider forming groups such as ethics boards to review the company’s strategy. In addition, the study of the algorithms and AI systems used by external consultants could help to identify possible distortions.
Trend # 3: Infonomics and Data Trading
As Gartner found out in his 2017 IoT project survey , 35 percent of respondents already sell or intend to sell data collected about their IoT products and services. The Infonomics approach will continue to foster monetization, as it sees data as a strategic asset that is also captured on the balance sheets. From an analysts point of view, it is the CIO’s job to educate their companies about the risks and opportunities associated with data broking in order to define the IT policies required in this area.
Trend # 4: The intelligence wanders from the edge to the mesh
The transition from centralized and cloud-based to edge architectures is in full swing in the IoT space. According to Gartner, this is not the end of it, but the next step is to create an unstructured architecture in which a wide range of “things” and services are linked through a dynamic network. These mesh architectures are designed to enable more agile, smarter and more responsive IoT systems, often at the expense of added complexity.
Trend No. 5: IoT governance
Gartner’s predicts assume that the further expansion of IoT in the enterprise wants to make the establishment of a governance framework. The check ranges from simple technical tasks such as device audits and firmware updates, to more complex topics such as the control of devices. The CIO’s job, according to Gartner, is to educate his company on IoT governance issues and possibly invest in people and improve technology.
Trend No. 6: Innovations in the sensor sector
Gartner’s market researchers expect that the sensor market will continue to evolve until 2023. New sensors are likely to be detected in response to changes in situation and events. In addition, Gartner expects new algorithms to emerge to more powerful more information from current sensor technologies. CIOs should accordingly ensure that their teams keep an eye on the innovations in business-relevant developments.
Trend # 7: Trusted Hardware and Operating Systems
According to Gartner, security is the most important technical concern for companies using IoT systems. The reason: Companies often have no control over the source and type of software and hardware used in IoT initiatives. However, the market research institutes expects that by 2023 hardware and software combinations are in use, which together create more reliable and safer IoT systems. IoT devices and embedded operating systems, Gartner analyst Jones recommends. CIOs should therefore work with CISOs to ensure they are right.
Trend 8: Novel IoT user experiences
From a Gartner point of view, the user experience (UX) of IoT solutions is influenced by four factors: new sensors, new algorithms, new experience architectures and experiences in a social context. UX designers wants to make use of new perspectives and apply them to new perspectives.
Trend # 9: Chip Innovations
Currently, most IoT devices use conventional processor chips, with particularly low-power ARM architectures being popular. As Gartner-Mann Jones points out, traditional instruction sets and memory architectures are not suitable for all tasks that terminal devices must perform. For example, the power of deep neural networks (DNNs) is often limited by memory bandwidth, not computing power.
The IoT expert expects special chips to hit the market over the next five years that reduce power consumption for operating a DNN and allow for new edge architectures and integrated DNN capabilities in low-power IoT endpoints. Jones predicts that this development will enable features such as sensor-integrated data analysis and speech recognition in low-cost battery-powered devices. His advice to CIOs : IT decision-makers should keep an eye on this trend as new specialty chips that support features such as embedded AI allow the development of highly innovative products and services.
Trend # 10: New wireless networking technologies for the IoT
IoT networks must meet a number of requirements that are difficult to reconciliate, such as low cost endpoints, low power consumption, high bandwidth, low latency, long range, high device density, quality of service, or low cost of ownership. IoT networking technologies offer CIOs more choice and more flexibility. The market researchers point in particular to 5G, a new generation of near-earth satellites and backscatter networks.