Updated: May 24, 2019
As we find ourselves less than 12 months away from 2020 (when the number of connected devices is supposed to surpass 20 billion), here is our list of the top three IoT development trends we think will emerge in 2019:
Trend #1: Controlling the Clout (and the Cost) of the Cloud
Say "IoT" and the very next phrase most developers think of is "cloud". And there's no question that the marketplace is full of cloud-based applications and services. But as we recently witnessed at NexGen 2018, system integrators and MSPs are starting to realize that not everything needs to be there and not surprisingly, a new slew of vendors are starting to enter the market with innovative solutions where no cloud is necessary.
While the cloud will still be a necessary part of an IoT project, we predict that IoT deployers will seek to better manage their cloud costs and dependencies by adding more localized solutions where it makes sense.
Trend #2: Developers Want More Specific Software Solutions (vs Broad Proprietary Platforms)
It seemed like just last year (actually it was last year), that everyone in the IoT world was wondering what platform would take the lead in uniting the machine network. Fast forward to the end of 2018, and a recent Gartner report indicated that less than 10% of all platform providers had revenues of more than $10M annually.
The reality is that IoT is complex - different machines, operating on proprietary hardware and software platforms - and even the best IoT platforms require that developers and end-user customers spend months (or even years) of additional coding and integration to create a fully functional deployment. That's a lot of effort to commit to for a five- or six- figure annual invoice and even more, when you consider the number of legacy machines that may need to be reconfigured, decommissioned or excluded to create a workable final deployment solution.
Cost, integration pain points and legacy equipment are all issues that we believe will contribute to more developers seeking out specialized and more affordable software solutions that can help them address IoT deployment challenges and cross the chasm between POC and roll-out.
Trend #3: It's All About the Data (Management)
IoT is more than just connecting a device. It's about what you can do with the data. With AI, machine-learning and Big Data analytics all gaining momentum, we believe the next logical question for system integrators, developers and MSPs to address will be making sure what specific device data gets to the appropriate location (or user) in the appropriate format at the appropriate time (and that it's stored as needed) and how well specific device data is integrated into the enterprise workflow.
While some will look to embed this intelligence right into new machines, we believe that this leaves the multitude of existing deployments and legacy equipment out in the cold. In heterogeneous industrial machine environments (where equipment can have a lifecycle that spans a single decade or more), being able to deploy solutions that leverage and manage the data off these devices will become key to IoT success.
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2019 will see the rise of new solutions and alternatives that will make IoT deployment smarter, faster and cheaper.