The next five years will radically transform the development of the Internet. The changes are related to both AI and sensors as well as, for instance, data trade. The research company Gartner lists the most interesting IoT trends of the near future.
In March 2018, the global IT research and consultancy company Gartner published its list of trends to shape the Internet of Things most in the next five years.
“We will surely see new business opportunities generated by the IoT. The IT Directors who understand these changes in advance will be strong candidates for industry trailblazers,” says Nick Jones, Vice President, Gartner.
According to Gartner, these 10 trends will most affect the development of the Internet of Things:
1 AI will create opportunities
According to Gartner’s forecast, there will be 14.2 billion devices connected to the Internet in 2019, and the number will grow to 25 billion by the end of 2021. These devices generate a massive amount of data, which can be used to fuel AI.
The technological AI environment will remain complex until 2023, as many operators in the IT field are developing parallel environments. Despite its complexity, artificial intelligence can be utilised in the Internet of Things as long as companies are able to get the right know-how and tools for their organisation.
According to Marko Lepola, Head of Commercial Product Management, Enterprise and Public IoT, Telia, artificial intelligence will make it possible to process much larger masses of data and, at the same time, find cause-and-effect relationships in the measurement results that we may find surprising.
“Artificial intelligence also enables a higher level of automation. Once AI has processed a data mass and made observations or drawn conclusions, it can be programmed to act in a certain way on the basis of the generated data,” explains Lepola.
2 Ethics and law on the rise
Once IoT applications have been adopted more widely, the attention will turn more and more to social, legal and ethical questions. These include, e.g. data ownership and privacy issues. Companies will need to make sure that they use the Internet of Things in an ethically sustainable way and conform to the requirements of new legislation, such as the EU’s GDPR.
3 Information economy and data trade will become more commonplace
Up to 35% of the companies utilising the IoT that took part in the survey carried out by Gartner in 2017 said that they intended to sell the collected data. It is expected that by 2023, the sale of data will become part of many IoT ecosystems. This is why the companies that use the Internet of Things should already find out about the risks linked to and the opportunities afforded by data trade.
4 Cloud architecture will change
The switching of computing to the edge of the network, as close as possible to terminal devices and the operating situation, has been one of the hottest topics of the last few years. However, according to Gartner, the companies using the Internet of Things should not think that edge computing is the edge of development.
Instead, in the next five years, there will be new loop-based solutions that will enable a way of utilising the IoT that is more flexible, smart and responsive than edge computing.
5 Need for IoT maintenance will increase
Once the IoT has become common, more attention needs to be paid to its maintenance. Companies must understand how data are processed and ultimately removed from the company’s systems. The licence and update processes of devices also require know-how and working hours.
According to Telia’s Marko Lepola, the need for maintenance will be highlighted, especially in larger IoT device populations.
“There may be tens of thousands of devices in NB IoT environments, and they aren’t necessarily in locations that are easily accessible. This is why it is important to think, already during the deployment stage, about how the devices should be installed, maintained and, if necessary, replaced.”
6 Sensors will continue to develop
Gartner predicts that the rapid evolution of the market for sensors for IoT devices will continue over the next five years. It is expected that the equipment will become more diversified and prices will fall as production volumes grow.
“The IoT method library has grown fast. That’s why it takes less time to develop measurement methods in IoT projects. Most commercial measurement devices currently contain several different sensors, the compatibility of devices with IoT platforms has improved and prices have clearly dropped,” says Marko Lepola.
7 Data security will improve
In Gartner’s previous surveys, hands down the biggest concern for companies was the data security of the Internet of Things. In the next five years, new Internet data security solutions will be introduced to the market that will comprehensively take into account devices and software in IoT environments.
8 IoT user experience will improve
As new sensors, algorithms, and architectures evolve, the developers working on the IoT user experience will come face to face with a new challenge: How to create the best possible user experience for IoT applications? All devices connected to the network hardly include a display and a keyboard.
9 Microchips will develop
It s projected that new microchips designed specifically for the Internet of Things will appear on the market. They will make it easier to use neural network applications and enable the integration of data processing into IoT sensors.
10 Wireless data transfer will be a game changer
The best possible data transfer in IoT environments is the result of the successful integration of many variables. These include power consumption, signal power, band size, etc.
In the future, the successful utilisation of different network technologies, such as 5G, will be in a decisive role in making the Internet of Things a success.
“Thanks to 5G’s super low latency and greater data transfer capacity, it was possible to start using video analytics properly for industrial purposes. Once devices can react almost in real time to visual observations regarding their surroundings, we will be able to take automation to the next level,” says Lepola.