We live in an exciting new world, don’t you think? Relying on tech more and more, we are able to get places faster, be in contact with people far away, work from home (or the beach, if you are feeling adventurous) and have all the information as soon as we want it. Simply put, we are connected. We are all present in cyberspace through our own or someone else’s doing – thank the people who don’t ask for permission before posting pictures with you online. But how safe is all that connectedness – if that even is a word? Do you ever wonder to what degree the evolution of the Internet of Things endangers people and what is to expect next? Well, there is only so far into the future we can look into, so let’s see what the predictions for 2019 are.
1) IoT will continue to grow
According to IDC, the Internet of Things is going to stay hot, with investment expected to top $1 trillion by 2020 – which only next year. That will help fund a 30% annual growth rate in cellular IoT connections until 2023 (as reported in Forbes), thus resulting in about 1.3 billion connections in 2019. Looked at another way, IoT devices and services will reach an inflection point of 18-20% adoption in 2019, per DBS Asian Insights.
Moreover, at this rate, 2019 might even be the year when average consumers finally get the message of what the IoT is actually all about, and why they should care. And get on board.
2) The presence of 5G will be more noticeable
As of now, lots of IoT devices rely on low-powered, low-data-rate networks such as NB-IoT and Cat-M. But the rollout of 5G networks will have a big effect on high-end IoT applications linked to robotics and automation, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML).
“5G will enhance the capabilities of edge and cognitive computing, which will be particularly vital to certain applications, like self-driving cars, where computing must be performed as close to the device as possible to reduce the latency of decision making. The list of industries ready to take their businesses to the next level with 5G finally becoming available is long, including manufacturing, transport/logistics, public safety/emergency, and smart cities.”, Warren Chaisatien, Ericsson’s global director of IoT customer engagement marketing, said on the company blog.
Therefore, most of the more exotic new 5G implementations will have to wait until the mid-2020s, predicts Analysys Mason.
3) The security of IoT will be paramount
If you think about it, the huge increase in the number of IoT devices in use pretty much automatically leads to an accompanying rise in security vulnerabilities. And more vulnerabilities lead to more attacks and more damage, in everything from smart homes to high-security government and corporate installations – we’ve already had the chance to experience IoT fails in 2018. Weak security on many devices means the IoT isn’t just a victim of these attacks; it can also be used to create powerful botnets that hackers can leverage to carry out cyber attacks on the IoT and other targets. Panda Lab, for example, expects to see even more attacks on IoT devices, routers, and Wi-Fi networks as it’s usage increases.
4) Big players will dominate
Observers such as Data Art expect the biggest players to dominate the IoT market in 2019 in a variety of ways. While platform vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google increase their footprint, other organizations will “flock to them for the promise of simplification at scale.” Similarly, Analysys Mason sees carriers such as AT&T, Verizon and Vodafone rising their share prices on the account of the IoT.
On the other hand, while big IoT platforms battle for market share, we’ll see smaller players focus on niche areas to survive (e.g., data movement, industry-specific challenges, certain types of devices, etc.).
5) Skilled IoT workers will be in want
IDG Connect reports that according to a Canonical report, almost 70% of companies can’t hire the IoT experts they need. SImilarily, Experis’ Tech Cities Job Watch report says the demand for technology skills has jumped by 33% due to the huge increase in connected IoT devices. Big data pros and cyber security experts are said to be in especially high demand, along with IT workers who have experience in device equipment, application development and general utilization of IoT technology.