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Bsquare: 8 Predictions for IIoT in 2018

8 Predictions for IIoT in 2018

By Dave McCarthy*, Senior Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation.

Businesses are estimated to roll out more than three billion connected devices by the end of the year. The industrial sector is a big driver of this growth, with transportation businesses, manufacturers and O&G refineries rapidly connecting everything from truck engines to pressure sensors and temperature gages to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Digital transformation and Industry 4.0 are just a couple of the major drivers behind this growth. But as we move forward into 2018, what predictions can we make about its future?

I’ve channeled my inner Nostradamus and come up with eight predictions for the industrial IoT space:

1 IoT apps will continue to gain momentum.
Businesses will continue to create use-case-based applications that solve specific business problems, such as reducing costs or improving efficiency, to maximize IoT outcomes.
2 Edge computing will heat up.
Businesses will use multiple layers of edge computing to better handle the massive amounts of data being collected and analyzed. It will create powerful aggregation points that accelerate decision making across geographic areas. These peer-to-peer connections will become more of a requirement, than an option in IoT.
3 Technical barriers to IIoT will diminish.
Plug-and-play IoT will replace expensive, lengthy, super-technical installations that have inhibited adoption. There could be a reduction in data scientists as deployment is simplified.
4 Centers of Excellence will bridge gap between IT and OT.
Business and tech stakeholders will find common ground and work together to achieve operational goals. Teams could be reorganized to better facilitate IoT adoption.
5 IoT will expand beyond critical systems.
A majority of companies have been focused on mission critical equipment as part of their first wave of adoption. As they gain confidence in their IoT solution, companies will look to expand into less critical assets.
6 Composite digital twins will emerge.
There will be less isolation and more integration with digital twins, which will allow organizations to solve bigger problems.
7 Data ownership and privacy will remain a challenge.
There is still a lot of work to be done to confirm who legally owns what data and how it can be used. Expect some of these issues to become mainstream debates.
8 AR/VR will make its mark on IoT.
Whether using full virtual reality (VR) to simulate responses to conditions in the field or augmented reality (AR) to put more information in front of equipment operators, new ways of interacting with IoT data will emerge.

IoT is shaping up and taking off across businesses everywhere, most noticeably in manufacturing, transportation and oil & gas (O&G) organizations. A recent study showed that 86 percent of industrial businesses have IoT solutions in place and 84 percent believe their solutions are very or extremely effective. Expect these results to get even stronger as IoT adoption, usage, maturity and sophistication increases into 2018.

*About the author:
Dave McCarthy is a leading authority on industrial IoT. As senior director of products at Bsquare Corporation, he advises Fortune 1000 customers on how to integrate device and sensor data with their enterprise systems to improve business outcomes. Dave regularly speaks at technology conferences around the globe and recently delivered the keynote presentation at Internet of Things North America. He is also a frequent contributor to IT publications, including IoT Evolution and TechTarget. Dave earned an MBA with honors from Northeastern University.
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