10 IoT predictions for 2017

Forrester Research
13 Dec 2016

Interest in the Internet of things (IoT) hit a fever pitch in 2016 but technologies and use cases for the IoT are wildly divergent. No a single one of these leads to dramatic adoption, considering that IoT is an amalgamation of specific use cases and technology.

Thus, IoT’s potential to fuel business growth is accompanied by multifaceted complexity. CIOs recognize that the IoT holds the promise to enhance customer relationships and help them drive business growth. However, it’s a complex undertaking that affects business strategy and nearly every role in the CIO’s organization.

Also, IoT adds more fuel to the security fire, so it represents a two-pronged threat in 2017. It may potentially expose businesses to breaches, and hackers could turn IoT devices themselves into distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) weapons.

Forrester clusters its 10 predictions into four themes. First, new IoT technology and architectures will emerge to aid insights and scale. Early IoT offerings developed as standalone or specialized solutions built in by the manufacturer or deployed as operational technology, with little connection to the CIO’s business systems.

Now, however, business leaders see new opportunities in connecting data and remote control to core business systems and extending IoT uses further into the field.

So, in 2017, Forrester predicts that (1) IoT will be distributed across edge and cloud, boosted by AI and containers; (2) the first prototypes of smart contracts built on blockchain will appear, and (3) vendors will offer a dizzying array of wireless tech to support IoT field use cases.

Second, IoT security steamrolls into the public eye. Given that most IoT devices run on embedded Linux and utilize open source components, these devices are rapidly increasing your attack surface.

That many IoT solutions lack simple update and patching mechanisms exacerbates the problem, making remediation of security vulnerabilities more challenging. So, in 2017, Forrester predicts that (4) there will be a large-scale IoT security breach, and (5) hackers will continue to use IoT devices to promulgate DDoS attacks.

Third, new certifications help build the IoT. The scale and scope of the IoT is much larger and radically different from what CIOs have faced before.

The diversity of technology components and the challenge of orchestrating them to work together to produce the desired business outcomes requires new roles and skill sets. So, in 2017, Forrester predicts that (6) vendors will vie for IoT certification attention, and (7) industry-specific certifications will take hold.

And fourth, consumer IoT drives new technology and business model innovation. CIOs at consumer-facing companies have an additional challenge — how can they help their product-owner executive peers to take advantage of IoT-enabled experiences?

So, in 2017, Forrester predicts that (8) IoT will simultaneously shrink and enrich mobile moments, (9) new categories will drive consumer IoT faster than replacement products, and (10) vendors will inherit some of the cost to ensure full home wireless coverage.

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