It’s that time of year again to look into the crystal ball and imagine how the IoT industry will progress in the new year. Our extensive work with customers and groundbreaking innovations with partners in 2018 has opened our eyes to a number of emerging trends. As a result, we have six bold predictions for the year ahead.

#1. Independent IoT software platforms will become extinct

IIoT platform vendors are realizing that a single software platform will not work for all customers due to the unique nature of each business. In 2019, these IIoT vendors will embrace services and offer IoT applications through partnerships with the leading cloud service providers, AWS or Azure. As a result of this shift, service revenue will eclipse product revenue for IIoT.

#2. More IoT applications will be available in app store/marketplace format

We are going to see more IoT applications become available in the app store format as more IoT platform vendors look to leverage the software and R&D of cloud providers. This format offers a lot of incentive for IoT platform vendors, such as built-in security, higher availability, and greater scale. Partnering with cloud providers to bring IoT applications to the marketplace also helps expand sales presence by connecting vendors to more customers.

#3. There will be a democratization of IoT

Until now, IoT has been most common across industrial verticals with high value assets, such as manufacturing and oil & gas. With more IoT applications becoming available in app stores, businesses in many industries will be able to add IoT with a click of a button. In 2019, we expect to see more standardization in the collection of data as well as how it is processed, which opens the door for retail and enterprise IT.

#4. More industrial companies will turn to cloud solutions for their IoT

Industrial companies have typically rejected the cloud and favored on-premise technology to meet their stringent security requirements. In the coming year, we predict that the tide will change, and we will see more industrial companies trusting, even preferring cloud solutions.

#5. IIoT pilots will disappear as more companies charge forward with beta deployments

Rather than entering an IoT pilot, or proof-of-concept phase, more organizations will look for ways to skip pilots altogether. Because IIoT solutions have been proven to work, there is no longer a need for companies to start with a trial. The key to successfully skipping a pilot is knowing what you want to achieve with the technology before beginning your beta deployment.

#6. More companies will harness the power of a mixed edge and cloud computing environment

Currently people think of cloud and edge as two separate entities. In 2019, a more multi-tier approach will catch on in IIoT – such as the emergence of different layers to compute at the edge. For example, a factory might use a gateway device that aggregates the data before it goes to the cloud.

We are expecting some pretty big changes for IoT in 2019. Think we missed something? Tweet us @bsquarecorp.