Internet of Things

Internet of Things in 2019: Five predictions

The deployment of internet of things (IoT) solutions brings its own set of challenges. Here are the five things business pros can expect from IoT in 2019.

The internet of things (IoT) is not only changing how businesses operate, but also how people live. With the wide availability of sensors, cloud and edge infrastructures, platforms, analytics, and more, IoT technology has evolved in recent years. But in 2019, the presence of IoT in the enterprise will transform as a whole, according to Forrester's Predictions 2019: The Internet of Things report released on Tuesday.

Here are the five ways Forrester predicts IoT will shape the enterprise in 2019.

1. Bundled IoT services will try to motivate a slow consumer market

The vision of an interconnected, centralized smart home is currently more of the enterprises' dream, rather than the consumers', said the report. Right now, consumers are easing into the smart home device industry, buying one app-enabled device at a time, which will probably continue in 2019, added the report. While industries may try to bundle together services and tack on discounts as incentives, consumers aren't ready for that kind of integrated connectivity.

SEE: Internet of Things policy (Tech Pro Research)

"The reality of connecting many different devices and environments, for many consumers that's just not happening yet. So the initial momentum is certainly still coming from the enterprise," Michele Pelino, principal Forrester analyst of infrastructure and operations professionals, told TechRepublic.

2. IoT as an umbrella term will diminish

The conversation is going to shift away from an ambiguous buzzword to the actual use of technology, said the report. "Internet of things is not valuable in and of itself," said Pelino. "It's about the use cases, it's about the solutions, it's about the applications, managing and monitoring assets, performance management solutions, different kinds of solutions coming together to solve a problem—that's really what the value proposition is."

"No matter what you call this concept of IoT, it's about a use case that's addressing a problem that's solving an issue that you have: Monitoring around a sensor's capabilities, understanding what's happening, dealing with analytics in real time, bringing together elements of the application in the service, and wrapping security around that," added Pelino.

3. IoT vendors will compete to be the destination for IoT platforms

IoT platform vendors will be narrowing their scope in 2019, honing in on specific use cases, said the report. Business professionals aren't looking for one industrial IoT platform to manage every process going on at their company, the report said; they are instead looking for platforms that specialize in specific tasks.

SEE: Enterprise IoT research: Uses, strategy, and security (Tech Pro Research)

In 2019, the enterprise can expect to see many more IoT platform partnerships unfold. This is an effort for major platform vendors to appeal to more people by specializing in more use cases, added the report.

4. Cybercriminals will target smart cities

Cities are becoming smarter and smarter in an effort to improve efficiency in operations, said the report, but many cities aren't bringing security to their connected devices. Between smart lighting, traffic controls, and public transportation, smart cities are bringing in a whole new family of threat vectors.

In 2019, the report predicts an increase in targeted smart city ransomware attacks, which would cause major disruptions to citizen services. Smart cities need to take precautions and start preparing now, added the report.

5. A market for IoT managed services will develop

This next year will host an IoT run market, said the report, to help manage and operate fragmented IoT assets. "The idea of managing the ongoing end-to-end life cycle of a connected product is becoming more important, and ultimately this managed service opportunity is going to need momentum in the coming year," said Pelino. "This one is really tied to the fact that we're seeing more and more kinds of products that are connected in an industrial setting."

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • IoT vendors will be merging together to specialize in more use cases, attempting to be more marketable to consumers. — Forrester, 2018
  • Cybercriminals will be targeting smart cities, and managed services will create a new market. — Forrester, 2018

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/jamesteohart

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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