8 predictions for the Internet of Things (#IoT) in 2018

As 2017 comes to a close, it is customary to look forward to the year ahead and think about what will come. Some of us in SAP put our heads together to come up with a list of likely trends in the Internet of Things space for the next 12 months.

In no particular order:

  1. The IoT hype is over – but the trough of disillusionment typically precedes mainstream adoption. Customers have by now generally accepted IoT as a main driver of digital transformation, however, in 2018, they will be looking for business value and outcomes in every project. There is no doubt that all newly released products and installed assets will be connected with an increasing amount of sensors and intelligence embedded
  1. The IoT cloud platform market will consolidate quickly
    Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS will probably take the largest shares. IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, SAP Cloud Platform, and Oracle Cloud will be runners up. Most other IoT vendors will move (or have ported) their IoT offering onto a leading cloud platform-as-a-service stack (e.g. GE, Siemens)Here’s Why GE Shelved Plans to Build its Own Amazon-Like Cloud: http://fortune.com/2017/09/06/general-electric-cloud-pivot/
    Mindsphere debuts on Amazon Web Services http://news.usa.siemens.biz/blog/digital-factory/mindsphere-debuts-amazon-web-services
  1. IoT vendors will refocus and lead with IoT solutions delivering value to their installed base. GE Predix is now focussing on selected verticals and asset-intensive industries; while Microsoft is looking to manufacturing (with new focus on OPC-UA)GE https://www.ge.com/investor-relations/sites/default/files/GE%20Investor%20Update_Presentation_11132017.pdf (page 18)
    Microsoft IoT Central broadens reach with simplicity of SaaS for enterprise-grade IoT https://blogs.microsoft.com/iot/2017/12/05/microsoft-iot-central-broadens-reach-simplicity-saas-enterprise-grade-iot/
  1. IoT architecture will evolve from data ingestion and analytics to an intelligent event-driven solution for end users
    Data science, machine learning, and physics-based models will extract meaningful events from IoT data for users to take prescriptive actionGartner https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3758164
    Blog referencing Gartner https://realtimeapi.io/2020-50-percent-managed-apis-projected-event-driven/
  1. The edge will move from connectivity to distributed intelligence
    Edge solutions are becoming increasingly intelligent and autonomous, adding analytics and machine learning, while distributed edge-cloud programming paradigms emergeGartner https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/what-edge-computing-means-for-infrastructure-and-operations-leaders/
    Amazon Greengrass https://www.forbes.com/sites/janakirammsv/2017/06/07/amazon-makes-foray-into-edge-computing-with-aws-greengrass/#47b0bc0b3298
    Microsoft IoT Edge https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-iot-edge-open-for-developers-to-build-for-the-intelligent-edge/
  1. Digital twins will evolve from concepts to blueprint and implementation for data sharing within and across companies
    While many early IoT projects focus on efficiency and cost reduction, the long term business value of IoT is in the network of business partners and digital twins. Marketplaces start to emerge to monetise IoT data while blockchain technologies ensure data provenance and device traceability (and payment)Digital Twins https://www.i-scoop.eu/digital-twin-technology-benefits-usage-predictions/
    IDC Predictions https://www.idc.com/url.do?url=/getfile.dyn?containerId=US43193617&attachmentId=47282916&elementId=54584641&term=&position=4&page=1&perPage=25&id=89172f0a-fdd7-48a1-871b-3bb213638507
    IOTA Data Marketplace https://blog.iota.org/iota-data-marketplace-cb6be463ac7f
    IBM IoT on Blockchain https://www.ibm.com/us-en/marketplace/iot-blockchain/details
    SAP IoT Blockchain initiative https://news.sap.com/sap-announces-first-co-innovation-customers-partners-in-blockchain-initiative-for-internet-of-things/
  1. Integration will remain challenging despite advances in open standards and architecturesIndustry standards will slowly emerge to address semantic integration (e.g. OPC-UA, RAMI), but take long to get fully adoptedhttp://opcconnect.opcfoundation.org/2017/06/there-is-no-industrie-4-0-without-opc-ua/
    IIC and RAMI / Industrie 4.0 align https://www.automationworld.com/industrial-internet-consortium-and-plattform-industrie-40-align-architectures
    Edge  http://www.iiconsortium.org/press-room/08-02-17.htm , https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/09/25/1131891/0/en/ETSI-and-OpenFog-Consortium-collaborate-on-fog-and-edge-applications.html
  1. Security and privacy will remain key concerns IoT security
    The standalone IoT security market is dead, but IoT security will be embedded into hardware, network, and systems with IoT security becoming a dedicated threat domain; data privacy legislation and concerns (specifically in Europe and China) will impact IoT architectureIoT security outlook Blogs http://www.ioti.com/security/8-iot-security-trends-look-out-2018 & https://www.i-scoop.eu/internet-of-things-guide/iot-security-forecasts/

Hopefully these predictions will give you some food for thought over the holiday season. In any case, enjoy your time off, and see you in 2018 🙂


Photo credit Frank Monnerjahn

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