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IoT Industry Predictions for 2016

2016In order to give our valued readers a pulse on important new Internet of Things (IoT) trends leading into 2016, we here at insideBIGDATA reached out to all our friends across the IoT ecosystem to get their insights and predictions for what may be coming. We were very encouraged to hear such exciting perspectives. Even if only half actually come true, IoT in the next year is destined to be quite an exciting ride. This feature is an adjunct to the general 2016 predictions feature from Dec. 8. Enjoy!

Daniel D. Gutierrez – Managing Editor

IoT will drive the growth in data and companies will need to understand the data storage implications and not just focus on how many devices are connected to their networks. There will be a growing trend in understanding how to analyze your data and what you do with it.– Cloudian‘s CEO and co-founder Michael Tso.

IoT and the cloud. With the ever increasing amount of data produced through connected environments and apps, the need for big data and analytics is just getting more and more pronounced. As this market transitions to the mainstream, there is a need to simplify the process of unlocking big data insights. Cloud-based big data services are driving a lot of this, and increasingly making big data accessible in a simplified manner to the mainstream market. This trend will keep accelerating. We will also see an increased focus on vertical analytical applications in industries, such as the healthcare sector, that will further simplify the usage of big data and its overall adoption. — Ashish Thusoo, CEO and co-founder of Qubole

Things are changing. Our interactions with the devices we employ through our daily lives are becoming more focused on communication. As the
“internet of things” becomes an increasingly common component of our daily lives, the transition of simple data collection to communication will
logically follow. People do not communicate via data, systems do. Nor do people process like systems, we process like people. Data is an abstraction, understanding is communication, and to understand and communicate one must know meaning. No technology is stronger at executing this than semantics. — from industry report by Expert System

Internet of Anything. Next year businesses will look at deriving value from ALL data. It’s not just the Internet of Things but rather Internet of Anything that can provide insights. Getting value from data extends beyond devices, sensors and machines and includes ALL data including that produced by server logs, geo location and data from the Internet. — Scott Gnau, Chief Technology Officer, Hortonworks

The Internet of Things is poised to become even more prevalent in 2016. It seems that everything will have a sensor that sends information back to the mothership. Just think of all the data mobile devices are generating around the clock—and that’s just one piece. As the volume of IoT data grows, so does the potential for insights. Companies will look for tools that allow users to explore the data, then share their findings in a secure, governed, and interactive way. — Tableau Software

In the coming year, analytics at the edge – or, performing analytics at the source versus within a central data warehouse – will become the new normal. Thanks largely to advancements in modern data technology, more organizations than ever before are putting the right data on the right platform for the right reason. Given the distributed nature of connected devices and the explosive growth of IoT infrastructures, we’ll start to see  more organizations executing analytics at the edge, and, as a result, the ability to push analytic capabilities to (and run them directly at) the source of data will become paramount. — Shawn Rogers, Chief Research Officer, Dell Statistica

Industrial IoT will fundamentally disrupt the asset intelligence industry. By optimizing organizations’ understanding of their equipment and physical assets, in 2016 industrial IoT will not only cut costs, but create completely new revenue opportunities. We are seeing examples of this beginning to emerge, such as at major retailer Target, which utilizes machine data from robotic and automated systems at its distribution centers to improve its supply chain and influence business decisions. Next year, we will see organizations – including traditional organizations in industries such as finance or healthcare – take this a step further and begin to implement IoT to come up with entirely new business models to drive revenue. — Snehal Antani, Splunk’s CTO

IoT + Cloud = Big Data Killer App. Big data cloud services are the behind-the-scenes magic of the internet of things (IoT). Expanding cloud services will not only catch sensor data but also feed it into big data analytics and algorithms to make use of it. Highly secure IoT cloud services will also help manufacturers create new products that safely take action on the analyzed data without human intervention. — Oracle

IoT data captured at the data center will erode in value faster than transaction data. Lacking monetary data fields, most sensor data will become low value in hours, days, or weeks as it is replaced by fresh collections of the same sensor data. Architectures and systems will be forced to compensate for this rapid decline to cope with retention and processing costs. — Dan Graham, General Manager of Enterprise Systems at Teradata

IoT moves from hype to substance. The Internet of Things has already emerged as the next mega-trend but in 2016, it will excel beyond just hype. We will see companies actively change their strategy and infrastructure to harness the power and insight of IoT technologies and data. — Stefan Groschupf, CEO of Datameer

Big Data and IoT will continue to be too big to ignore – While the term Big Data has been over used, the reality is that not many enterprises in B2B have taken the plunge. Talks at Big Data conferences still discuss fundamental concepts, and industries such as pharma, who previously never really considered their data “big” are beginning to realize that they need to plan for the future. And while size is not what matters, an increase in variety and sources of data will provide more relevant insights and better outcomes. — Manish Sood, CEO and founder of Reltio

2nd Generation Offering: The IoT market will transition to more mature, industry and adaptable solutions from what used to be closed, proprietary first-generation offerings. With an open-source approach, organizations will be able to choose from a larger pool of service providers and their respective application program interfaces (APIs), benefitting from a larger ecosystem of expertise while spurring commercialization. — Phil Gerskovich, Senior Vice President, New Growth Platforms at Zebra Technologies

In 2016, we’ll see interesting Internet of Things use cases come to life, rather than major steps forward in devices themselves. With CES approaching in January, hundreds of new IoT devices will be released, but it won’t be the devices themselves that make waves. It will be the clever use of those devices to generate value. For instance, 90-year old pest control firm Rentokil connects its mousetraps through IoT technology, and has increased operational efficiency through the automatic notifications of a caught animal and its size. Overall, the key theme for 2016 will be identifying the value niches within industries that can benefit from IoT technology rather than trying to change the entire industry. For healthcare, it will likely be connected patients. For retail, it will be around making stronger connections between traditional and digital shopping. — Ross Mason, founder and VP of product strategy at MuleSoft

Enterprises will be more vulnerable than ever as the Internet of Things expands the attack surface. Anything that is connected to the Internet can be an attack surface. It’s just a matter of time before you discover the Fitbit on your wrist or the thermostat connected to your WiFi can be used as the starting point to penetrate corporate and government networks. — Richard Greene, CEO of Seculert

Robots in disguise – While people are afraid that robots will take over the world one day, the true situation is that they are already under us, we just don’t recognize them. As we are brainwashed by Hollywood how robots should look like (terminator, R2D2, Chappie) In reality they look like ATM’s, washingmachines, Dishwashingmachines, and slowly they start to emerge automatic lawn movers, vacuum cleaners and of course drones. — Bart Schouw, Director of Industry Solutions, IoT at Software AG

In 2016, we’ll work smarter, not harder. Human beings, appliances, homes, factories, cars, businesses, and cities will become more interconnected. If these items aren’t already, they’ll soon be “talking” to the Internet of Things (IoT). In a few short years, there will be more than 25 billion devices[1] generating data about every topic imaginable. We’ll see broader enterprise adoption of the IoT due to its economic impact[2] (which analysts estimate to be between $4 trillion to $11 trillion in the next few years), as well as in terms of opportunities to improve productivity and gain better business insight.

The IoT will cause massive disruption through better automation, integration, and communication. Insurance companies are deploying sensors and software to monitor how drivers behave and generate risk profiles using big data analytics that accurately align to or construct on-demand products to suit individual behavior. Thermostats communicate with residents and accumulate behavioral data to formulate the most energy efficient and comfortable schedules and settings. Software agents move money, stocks, goods, and people around the world, routing, optimizing, and transacting innumerable times a year—and these are just three examples already in enterprise use today. They will quickly evolve and proliferate into 2016.

As we move forward through 2016 and beyond, more devices, agents, sensors, and people will join the IoT. Perhaps we will even progress as a society to a post-scarcity economy and information itself will become our commodity of trade. Monetizing the exchange of information, micro-licensing, and transactions become prominent tasks as our automation and machine-to-machine networks take care of daily needs. Imagine algorithms as apps for applying big data analysis over the connected masses of information generated by the IoT and its billions upon billions of connected devices in every aspect of our lives. Owning the data, analyzing the data, and improving and innovating become the keys to corporate success—all empowered by a connected digital society.

Though this may have some Orwellian overtones, the IoT is really about the Zen of Things—our application of software and technology to help customers consume products and to help businesses build better products and deliver better services. In 2016, the IoT will continue to combine big data, analytics, the Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and automation to propel industries forward and create the next industrial revolution. — Mark Barrenechea, CEO, OpenText

IoT isn’t the cool kid on the block anymore. It’s becoming more and more commoditized. In 2016, it will continue to become a basic commodity in any data pipeline, fading into the background of the Internet. We’ll stop seeing new IoT applications and start seeing IoT built into the applications and services we’re already using. Through our current IoT infrastructure, we’re collecting massive amounts of data. New and improved databases will no longer throw data away and use it in a more timely manner, as well as increase the speed at which it’s analyzed. As a result, we’ll see a tighter integration between analytics and databases enabling a speed that we can’t currently conceive. And while we’ve found ways to profit from some IoT applications many still have no true ROI, but with this faster, more integrated analytics platform running tighter within databases, will be able to find better ways to profit from IoT as it runs in the background of the rest of our applications. — Patrick McFadin, Chief Evangelist for Apache Cassandra at DataStax

The deluge of Internet of Things data represents an opportunity, but also a burden for organizations that must find ways to generate actionable information from (mostly) unstructured data. Organizations will be seeking database solutions that are optimized for the different types of IoT data and multi-model approaches that make managing the mix of data types less operationally complex. — Adam Wray, CEO, Basho

Many examples of hyper distributed data environments can be found in the IoT. From terabytes of data created by sensors in offshore oil wells to extremely time sensitive data created by robots in manufacturing facilities. IoT devices and sensors can highlight failing machines or dangerous conditions before they become serious issues. The next step is to analyze the data. Looking for patterns in it could illuminate ways for employees to improve operations, such as doing more preventive maintenance or designing more efficient processes. When data is combined with analytics, real opportunities arise. A great example of this is Cisco’s recent partnership with Mazak on its SmartBox. The SmartBox is a mini electrical cabinet mounted on the side of a manufacturing machine enclosure. Inside of the SmartBox is Cisco Streaming Analytics embedded on a Cisco Industrial Ethernet (IE) 4000 switch. This enables us to measure things like vibrations and temperature on the manufacturing floor in real-time. By analyzing this data, manufacturing personnel are able to identify and easily fix downtime-related inefficiencies to improve overall equipment utilization. — Mike Flannagan, Vice President, Data and Analytics, Cisco

The Internet of Things has exploded in the recent years, adding huge numbers of devices and endpoints to IT networks. There is more security and event data than ever before, and the addition of personal IoT (think fitness trackers and teapots) comes with its own vulnerabilities. In 2016, I predict that automatic patching will come to IoT, as we’re already seeing the impact of companies not being prepared for the all-connected landscape. The advantages of automated patch rollouts have been visible in the mobile ecosystem for years, and it’s only fitting that all other “things” follow in suit. — Wolfgang Kandek, CTO for Qualys

IoT data sources will need databases that can handle and persist millions of inserts per second, that process time series data with very low latencies and that can support hybrid on-premises to cloud processing seamlessly. — Leena Joshi, VP of Product Marketing, Redis Labs


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  1. Industrial IoT market is in the nascent stage and shows a great potential across different industry sectors. The market potential of Industrial Internet of Things is expected to grow with the global economy and contribute a significant share to the world’s GDP, in the coming years.

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