In “Predictions 2017: Security And Skills Will Temper Growth Of IoT,” Forrester argues that IoT’s potential to fuel business growth is accompanied by multifaceted complexity. Here are the research firm’s specific predictions for next year:
IoT will be distributed across edge and cloud, boosted by AI and containers.
IoT software will be distributed across edge devices, gateways, and cloud services. IoT solutions will be built on modern microservices and containers that work across this distributed architecture. In addition, AI and machine-learning cloud services will increasingly be used to mine the data coming from IoT devices.
We will see the first prototypes of smart contracts built on blockchain.
Researchers have been exploring how to enable reliable autonomous financial transactions, using blockchain technology to ensure distributed transactions. The first real-world experiments will be launched on 2017.
Vendors will offer a dizzying array of wireless tech to support IoT field use cases.
Various characteristics of IoT devices such as small bursty traffic, dense sets of connections, or long distances require new forms of wireless connections, such as LoRaWAN, Sigfox, or 3GPP’s narrowband (NB)-IoT. For IoT decision-makers, there will be more than 20 wireless connectivity options and protocols to evaluate.
There will be a large-scale IoT security breach.
The areas where IoT has been rapidly adopted are the most vulnerable, e.g., fleet management in transportation, security and surveillance applications in government, inventory and warehouse management applications in retail, and industrial asset management in primary manufacturing.
Hackers will continue to use IoT devices to promulgate DDoS attacks.
Hackers will continue to exploit IoT device vulnerabilities to launch other attacks, not just compromise devices. “Sadly,” says Forrester, the recent DDoS attack that shut down 1600 websites in the U.S. is “the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using connected devices to do harm.”
Vendors will vie for IoT certification attention.
Major vendors like Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, and others will invest heavily in low- or no-cost training and certifications while keeping the bar high to ensure that the certifications hold weight.
Industry-specific certifications will take hold.
10 industrial vendors will jointly certify their IoT-enabled products with enterprise vendors, as Rockwell Automation has done with Cisco.
IoT will simultaneously shrink and enrich mobile moments.
More and more mobile moments will be on connected devices, from smartwatches to home appliances to cars and virtual assistants. These connected devices will offer up a rich stream of data that service and product owners will use to interact with consumers.
New categories will drive consumer IoT faster than replacement products.
There will be two new categories of smart home tech that will reach 10% of homes in 2017: Appliances that offer access to virtual assistants (e.g., Amazon Echo with Alexa) and smart camera systems (e.g., Canary or Withings Home).
Vendors will absorb some of the cost of full home wireless coverage.
A diverse set of businesses, ranging from internet providers such as Comcast or security alarm companies such as ADT, will acquire technology like mesh repeaters and get consumers over the whole-home connectivity hump to open the door for their offerings.
Longer term, according to Forrester’s “The Top Emerging Technologies To Watch: 2017 To 2021,” tools and applications for IoT analytics will move from mostly startups into enterprise applications and features by 2019. As a result, product design, marketing, sales, and customer support teams will be using some IoT insights to improve experiences, create product-as-a-service offerings, and transform customer engagement.
Originally published on Forbes.com