Machina Research IoT Predictions 2017

23 January 2017

Every January Machina Research, the world's leading advisors on the Internet of Things, publishes its predictions for IoT in the coming year. This year promises to be an eventful one.   

In a live webinar on January 19th, co-founders Jim Morrish and Matt Hatton, as well as Principal Analyst Emil Berthelsen, discussed what they think will happen in 2017, based on a host of suggestions from Machina Research's market leading analyst team.

During the webinar, a variety of topics and areas in the IoT field were addressed, starting with platforms and the cloud, or specifically the need for platforms to reach out of the cloud. Also in the platforms space, the first glimmers of emerging standards will begin to shift the market positioning of platforms away from simple business enablers and into the realm of bona fide support tools – possibilities for direct monetisation will follow. In turn, the less fragmented data environment that results will kick-start the adoption of machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning.

Turning to communications networks, LPWA technologies will clearly continue to be a driving force in IoT connectivity in 2017. In particular we expect the 3GPP technologies to start to take the lead, benefiting from consistent deployments by CSPs and a fragmentation of alternative LPWA technologies. For CSPs the other big opportunity to be targeted will be professional services, and more CSPs will recognise the critical importance of supporting enterprises in their IoT deployments. One big headache for CSPs, in the form of prohibition of permanent roaming, will go a large way to being clarified in 2017. Specifically several European countries will change regulation to explicitly permit permanent roaming. In other regions we expect more prohibition.

The ‘things’ to watch in 2017 include Smart cities which have been gaining momentum through 2016. Augmented and virtual reality (particularly in an industrial context) and all kinds of supply chain related applications will continue their upswing. We also expect the concept of the ‘Internet of Things’ to extend to include new devices such as dataloggers and RFID devices.

Meanwhile, we expect the focus in smart homes to shift towards user experience, catalysed by the emergence of virtual assistants such as Alexa. A parallel shift is marked on the enterprise side where enterprise executives will also need to address new priorities in cognitive user interfaces and experiences.

In recent years the changing technology landscape has highlighted issues such as the undersupply of skilled IoT recruits, and this dynamic will continue through 2017. This will continue to impact remuneration levels in the marketplace and may also act to slow down or limit IoT deployment in enterprises where under resourced implementations may not be deployed in a fully futureproofed way. However this situation will begin to be addressed by the advent of IoT training, and certifications and accreditations programmes.

In conclusion, the IoT won’t ‘explode’ in 2017, or even any time soon. But it will continue to change our world in ever more obvious ways. Right now the adoption of IoT in an enterprise context is well advanced and sophisticated, so to a great extent the future is already here, albeit unevenly distributed.

See the Webinar recording here.

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