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10 Enterprise IoT Predictions for 2018

Maciej Kranz, Cisco

By Maciej Kranz*, VP Strategic Innovation, Cisco.

What will 2018 bring for the Internet of Things (IoT)?

While our connected devices, sensors and other “things” cannot see into the future – yet – IoT’s momentum in 2017 gives us a fairly good idea of the what is to come. Throughout the past year, we began to see hints of IoT hitting mainstream in the enterprise, with the number of IoT projects doubling. Yes, we still have progress to make, but 2018 holds promise for this potentially trillion-dollar market.

The following are my top 10 IoT predictions for 2018.

1 IoT devices will converge with machine learning/artificial intelligence (AI), fog computing and blockchain technologies.
This will help companies move from IoT initiatives that merely produce incremental gains, to those that create entirely new business models and revenue streams. As a result, companies will obtain greater value from their IoT investments and drive broader adoption.
2 We will see the rise of co-everything.
The IoT will continue to drive the “co-economy,” or what I like to call, the “co-everything” model in 2018, with companies large and small co-innovating, co-developing and collaborating to develop solutions.
3 The customer will become a co-innovator.
The customer will be at the very center of the new “co-everything” model, working closely with partners and vendors to create solutions that meet their very specific business need.
4 There will be an industry-wide, accelerated move to open standards, open architectures and interoperability.
Vertical players will not only open their architectures and become digitally focused, but will also collaborate with horizontal players on open standards and interoperability for IoT.
5 IoT will become the key security domain.
In 2018, organizations will finally begin to take IoT security seriously, investing in training for their workforces and incorporating security teams from the start of their IoT deployments.
6 Agriculture and Healthcare will emerge as top adopters of IoT technologies with the most innovative use cases.
In agriculture, IoT will allow organizations to tackle challenges such as the lack of workers or qualified workers, access to water and food, and safety issues. The healthcare industry will also emerge as a leader in innovative IoT use cases, from accelerated drug testing to remote patient monitoring and care.
7 Governments will become more aggressive in legislating IoT security, open systems and interoperability standards.
This includes the enactment of the first IoT-specific regulations, as well as a strong focus on the regulation of autonomous vehicles, drones and even AI-based systems – all related to IoT.
8 IoT will revolutionize data analytics.
IoT will drive the shift from batch analytics based on static datasets to dynamic or real-time analytics, and streaming data using AI and machine learning. These real-time analytics capabilities allow enterprises to make faster, more informed business decisions that deliver greater ROI.
9 China will solidify its spot as top IoT innovator and adopter.
This is a result of China’s government’s robust IoT initiatives and investments (such as its IoT Special Fund), increasing maturity of the market and aggressive adoption of IoT technology.
10 The focus of IoT will move from driving efficiencies to creating new business value.
Companies will use IoT to uncover new business opportunities, create new revenue streams, value propositions for customers and much more.

It’s been a long time coming for enterprise IoT, but I am confident that 2018 will be a pivotal year. It will be especially exciting to see IoT converge with AI, blockchain and fog computing technologies as companies co-innovate with their partner ecosystems to build solutions sthat truly transform businesses. Happy New Year!

*About Maciej Kranz, Vice President, Strategic Innovations, Cisco Systems
Maciej Kranz brings 30 years of networking industry experience to his position as Vice President of Cisco’s Strategic Innovation Group. In this role, he leads efforts to incubate new businesses and accelerate co-innovation internally and externally with customers and startups through a global network of Innovation Centers. He has also pioneered dozens of IoT projects across multiple industries, wrote the New York Times Best Seller, Building the Internet of Things, publishes an IoT newsletter, and spearheads an industry leadership community.
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