IoT 2016 predictions: Enterprise adoption, security threats and new job roles

Jason Shepherd, director of IoT strategy and partnerships at Dell, outlines his Internet of Things predictions for 2016:

  1. Enterprise will become the largest market for IoT adoption

While the Internet of Things hype reached its peak in the consumer markets this past year, 2016 will be the year of IoT in the enterprise market. Currently, we are seeing a slump in sales for the once buzzworthy, consumer IoT devices, such as fitness trackers, whereas just the opposite is happening for commercial IoT products.

As companies begin understanding the value of IoT (return on investments, efficiency, productivity, etc.), commercial IoT solutions will gain traction and the enterprise will emerge as the largest market for IoT adoption.

  1. Standardisation and interoperability of IoT technology will become a focal point

As IoT solutions become a mainstay for enterprises and consumers alike, the industry will face growing pressure for standardisation and interoperability. As a result, an increasing number of industry players will begin uniting under the common goal of establishing a set of standards for IoT.

These standards bodies and consortiums will make solid progress in 2016 but it is unlikely they will decide upon a finalised set of standards in the coming year. Rather, 2016 will be a year for critical industry-wide conversation that will help to drive the awareness of and need for standardisation and interoperability.

  1. Massive amounts of big data will drive the need for edge analytics

Gartner recently forecasted that there will be 6.4 billion connected things used worldwide in 2016. This explosion of connected devices also means an equally explosive amount of Big Data that needs to be collected, analysed and stored. While an increased amount of data drove the need for edge analytics in 2015, next year we will begin to see stream analytics come into play and new players emerge in an effort to manage the rapidly expanding amounts of data.

  1. Security threats will rise, creating a larger need to identify and implement strong security practices

As the amount of connected devices rises, so too will the potential for security threats and breaches. To ensure that organisations receive the strongest security practices possible, we will see the emergence of security models based on use cases and new technologies to address the key challenges at the edge. Unlike the trend with consumer IoT, which stresses quick time-to-market over security measures, organisations providing commercial IoT solutions will need to find a balance that offers solutions that are both easy to adopt without sacrificing security.

  1. Companies will witness the emergence of a new role – the Chief IoT Officer – IT needs to evolve more

Similar to how the alignment of the CIO and CMO helped manage the crossover between IT and marketing, in 2016 companies will experience growing pressure to bridge the gap between Operations and IT sides of its organisation. To respond to this pressure, organisations will witness the emergence of a new role – the Chief IoT Officer.

With the conception of this new role, companies will be able to realise the full potential of IoT. As IoT hits full stride in 2016, organisations that embrace IoT will thrive and those that do not will be left behind.

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