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2018 Was Supposed to Be the IoT's Breakout Moment, But It's Not…

The Internet of Things may not yet be poised for a breakout moment, but it is providing solutions to help companies solve their IT problems and improve the way they do business.
By Anastasia Efstratios
Aug 13, 2018

Internet of Things (IoT) predictions dominated tech media headlines at the start of the year. Pundits speculated how much progress would be made along the adoption curve as more devices with embedded intelligence flooded the market. And while past years were thought to be about experimentation and pilot purgatory, 2018 was assumed to be the year in which the IoT delivered on its much hyped promise.

So, how has the IoT faired? It is certainly having a significant impact on the economy, with IDC predicting spending will reach $1.1 trillion in 2021. But it remains in the early stages of experimentation as companies struggle to define concrete strategies for their IoT deployments. They are wrestling with challenges from jumping into the IoT waters too soon without a clear vision of the goal or a view of the unexpected complexities these projects can bring. One thing is certain: the IoT is far from a passing technology fad.

Here are the top five trends we're following in the Internet of Things, which we expect will drive both growth and interest throughout the last half of 2018 and beyond:

1. More data, more problems:
The ultimate double-edged sword for the IoT is the treasure trove of data gathered and what to do with it all. Each new connected device, from familiar ones like autonomous cars and smart cit- applications to new ones like brainwave detection and rodent traps, come with a new set of data to capture, catalogue, prioritize, and ultimately use and react to. Figuring out how to handle and analyze all of this data is where Artifical Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are starting to gain traction. However, what we hope to see are concrete examples of AI serving up real value to users, rather than the IoT continuing to be dominated by bright, shiny new objects with no clear return on investment (ROI).

2. The edge is becoming the hottest new battlefield for network dominance:
All of this data is driving an immediate need for new computing models to process it. While the cloud will continue to act as a central hub to store the massive amount of data being pushed out every second, edge computing has emerged as a silver bullet to draw quick and actionable insights from that data, closer to where it is being created. Being able to process critical data in real time will help companies to not only cut costs but reduce network usage and improve operational efficiencies in environments in which seconds matter. We've already seen a bevy of edge solutions flood the market in 2018, from almost every notable hardware vendor. Expect to see even more as we hit the back half of the year; evidence of this is a market prime for more investment from those jockeying for position to lead it.

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