Freewave IIoT Predictions

FreeWave Technologies, Inc. released five Industrial IoT (IIoT) predictions for 2017. The series marks the second annual list of Industrial IoT (IIoT) predictions compiled by FreeWave’s top industry experts. The predictions cover a range of topics including:

  • the rise of interoperability
  • business challenges stemming from IT/OT convergence
  • programmability at the edge
  • wireless networking standards for Smart Cities
  • enhanced cybersecurity rollouts
  • IoT talent recruitment opportunities

“The 2017 Prediction Series is a high level examination of the industrial IoT landscape not only from a technology point of view, but what it all means from the business perspective as well,” said Scott Allen, CMO at FreeWave Technologies. “IIoT is transforming the connected ecosystem of geographically dispersed businesses and, this year, is going to be critical for IT innovation and product development. Organizations leveraging IIoT as a strategy will also need to evaluate and act upon the growing skills-gap, as industries shift towards a more digital-centric workforce. Each of these objectives will be especially challenging as many organizations also work through digital transformation efforts.”

Below is the detailed list of FreeWave’s 2017 predictions in descending order:

Prediction #5: A public utility closure will occur in 2017

The maturation of interoperability standards and evolution of remote data collection technologies are forcing critical infrastructure and utility organizations to adapt at a new pace. With an aging infrastructure and high percentage of the workforce nearing retirement, existing management will struggle to match the resources needed to build a comprehensive, integrated portfolio of applications that must work together to support the organization’s goals.

Prediction #4: By the end of 2017, millions of smart IoT devices will be deployed into networks that use the 802.11 ah (HaLow) protocol and it will eventually become the standard for IIoT

With the rise of Smart City initiatives, the 802.11 ah (HaLow) wireless networking protocol will over power Bluetooth in 2017 for critical infrastructure applications like traffic management, public safety, energy efficiency and public infrastructure design. Where HaLow shines – high-speed data transmission rates for longer distances – Bluetooth 5 falls flat. As urban areas continue to expand outward, the need for high bandwidth solutions will become more important, which would seem to favor HaLow in the long run.

Prediction #3: Recruitment of IoT talent will continue to be a challenge, incentivizing private enterprises to directly fund secondary education programs to nurture the next generation of a digital-centric workforce

The biggest challenge affecting IoT talent recruitment is the skills gap – there are not enough qualified applicants to take on new digital-centric, IT roles. From a business perspective, IT/OT convergence further complicates the issue. Enterprises are transforming the way they operate — and it impacts everyone – especially the folks on the operations side dealing with legacy systems. Each of these factors has created a talent gap for many organizations.

Prediction #2: Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) app development programs will begin to outgrow/outpace consumer IoT app development programs within the next three years

Third party IIoT application development at the edge (i.e., Fog Computing) specifically will alter the use of big data and predictive analytics. The ability to filter specific data needs directly at the source means less of a need to collect all the data for broad analysis. The demand for more apps at the edge and coinciding apps on the IT side of the business, coupled with big opportunities for app developers will drive the shift from consumer to IIoT apps.

Prediction #1: 2017 will see the of the strongest security rollouts to-date thanks to emerging technology

A decentralized network architecture that brings computing power closer to where data is generated and acted upon, Fog Computing enables analysis, control and automation closer to the “Things” in the Industrial Internet of Things. Because Fog Computing reduces the amount of data being sent to the Cloud, cybersecurity will be enhanced by reducing the threat and attack surfaces of IIoT networks. In industries where even milliseconds are vital, certain processes will move away from the Cloud and closer to the Edge.

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