Cognatio Blog

Ryan Wall
Ryan Wall

FIVE KEY IOT PREDICTIONS FOR 2018 AND BEYOND

18.09.2017
FIVE KEY IOT PREDICTIONS FOR 2018 AND BEYOND

The Internet of Things (IoT) has wasted no time spreading across the world and connecting millions of individuals. In just a few years, billions of sensors have redefined how businesses operate and how people interact with each another. However, this is only the start. IHS predicts that IoT will reach a staggering 75 billion devices connected by 2025.

What changes will the IoT bring in 2018? Will the trends of the IoT continue or will new players shake the system? Here are five predictions for 2018 and beyond;

1) Sigfox vs LoRa vs NB-IoT – Is there room for all?

Sigfox, LoRa and NB-IOT wireless technologies are the network standards battling for supremacy in IoT. With the prospect of endless new connections, these technologies will play an important role in connecting devices for years to come. End-users face a big decision in 2018 on what direction to take. To make informed decisions they must fully understand the features and differences in each technology and which one is most effective for them.

Some of the key advantages include:

Sigfox – Allows long-range connectivity and offers lowest cost radio modules

LoRa – Only standard that lets you build your own private IoT network

NB-IoT – Direct connection from sensor to base station. No need for extra hardware such as gateways

2) Security needs to be addressed

IoT systems need to take security more seriously. As demand for product grows, consumers aren’t going to stand for their doorlocks being hacked via connected devices. These attacks are going to start coming with hefty price tags. Projected to be the fastest growing market for years, IoT could see growth flatten if a major hack ruins systems, or results in people getting hurt. Users will demand greater guarantees of security and privacy. 

Research firm Gartner believes that by 2018, 20% of smart buildings will suffer digital vandalism through their HVAC, thermostats and even smart toilets!

3) Consolidation – M&A activity increases

2016 was the year of consolidation for IoT semiconductor makers. M&A activity began with Broadcom and Avago, and then continued onto Softbank acquiring the controlling stake in ARM holdings. To this day (Sept 2017), we await the news of Qualcomm’s bid for NXP that will make the marketplace feel a whole lot smaller.

In the highly subscribed IoT market, the shakeout has already begun. Big companies signalled their intentions early with Cisco, GE & PTC making big acquisitions in 2016. The market will continue to consolidate as the army of current IoT vendors try to push undifferentiated solutions. Look for a fallout in terms of players disappearing or getting swallowed up by conglomerates. 

4) The battle for IoT talent intensifies

Many viewed 2017 as a team-building year in the IoT space. Internal talent was fostered, whilst external hires were carefully selected to address the difficulties of launching a connected product. In 2018, companies will find IoT and analytics expertise in particularly short supply as the field expands rapidly. Businesses requiring Data Scientists could end up empty handed according to McKinsey Global Institute who predict over 190,000 job openings could go unfilled in 2018 and that is just in the US alone!

Talent acquisition problems do not stop here. As businesses start to monetise their solutions successfully, the need for people to sell becomes more and more real! 

5) Vendors have to better monetise their offerings

Technology won’t sell itself! It needs to be packaged so consumers want to buy it. Companies will begin to innovate their business models when it comes to pricing. Look out for new subscription models, pay per use solutions and even pay-per-API call models. Here is where sales executives come in.

As previously mentioned, there are predicted talent shortages for IoT techies in 2018, but this is not where the recruitment headache ends. As IoT providers package their offerings more effectively and demand for IoT grows, more sales professionals will be needed to sell products and services.

The sky’s the limit for IoT. It looks set to play the starring role in the technology boom we’re currently experiencing. However, the next 18 months are pivotal for companies who want to position themselves to reap the rewards.

At Cognatio Solutions, we’re seeing an increased demand for IoT Talent across all industries. Therefore, we’re proactively working with both passive and active candidates to ensure we meet our client’s recruitment needs. If you would like to discuss how Cognatio Solutions could impact your businesses hiring plans, or if you’re a candidate looking to explore new opportunities please email ryan.wall@cognatiosolutions.com. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to hear regular industry news and find out about the projects we’re working on.