Gartner’s 2018 Symposium/ITxpo is currently underway in Cape Town, with the research firm hosting several sessions looking at the elements that will impact technology in the coming years, and offering advice for organisations on how best to prepare.
One of the more interesting sessions was presented by IoT research director Peter Havart-Simkin, where he dived into the 10 emerging technologies that would affect the Internet of Things over the next decade.
He also provided a plan of action for CIOs to undertake, but more about that later.
What the next decade will hold
The first aspect to address is the 10 technologies that Havart-Simkin outlined during his presentation.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) of course will feature heavily when it comes to IoT over the coming decade, with security, interaction in terms of recognition, prediction and AI-embedded silicon all elements that are being highlighted by Gartner.
Havart-Simkin also noted that this area currently has a dramatic skills shortage, which will too need to be addressed.
Next is the social, legal and ethical implications of IoT, especially as it pertains to the tracking of objects and people, as well as who has authority over data that is collected.
Other parts of the IoT puzzle in this regard include tackling algorithmic bias, the misuse of personal data and the rising influence of fake news.
Havart-Simkin followed that with Infonomics, which he cites as being the next “big thing” as far as revenue generation for organisations go.
Naturally a company’s desire to broker the information that they have collected will spark serious debate around ownership, as do several of the trends highlighted by the research director.
Shifting to the communication side of IoT, there will be a tangible switch from the intelligent edge to intelligent mesh. As such the hierarchical structure that currently exists within the communication between devices in an IoT ecosystem will be shaking up drastically.
Heading back to ownership, IoT governance will grow in significance, with things such as digital twins raising important questions about intellectual property, explains Havart-Simkin.
He used the example of the motoring industry to illustrate his point. In particular the creation of a digital twin for a car, and the vendor components it comprises as posing a potential problem.
The next trend focused on sensor analytics, and in particular the development of virtual sensors that do not physically exist.
Added to this, the creation of new sensors will have an impact on the cost and viability of implementing an IoT system, says Havart-Simkin, and will soon be something for decision makers to consider, he adds.
Trusted and secure IoT hardware and OS’ is another trend highlighted by the research director. Operating systems and cloud services in particular will need to feature some sort of IoT-based security aspect to them.
As IoT grows in prominence, Harvart-Simkin says it will open up the avenue for new user experiences.
These experiences are wide-ranging, but are driven heavily by enhancing current means of analytics. Live streamed or real-time video for example, could be analysed to create an emotional profile for people, he pointed out.
Along with sensors, chipsets will also come into prominence, as lower cost of manufacturing silicon will see several manufacturers enter the market. Apple and more recently Amazon’s efforts to create its own chips was cited by Havart-Simkin.
Lastly it was new wireless technologies that the research director outlined. 5G got a mention, but Havart-Simkin warns that it may not be the all-encompassing enabler that it has been billed as being, specifically as it cannot do all things at once, he says.
The game plan
To end his presentation, Havart-Simkin mentioned several tasks for CIOs to implement if they’re keen to tap into the aforementioned emerging technologies.
Some of the most important steps are to create a technology-monitoring function within their organisation to identify relevant IoT trends for their business, and draw up a Top 10 list of their own.
Next is to evaluate the commercial, technical and social risks of new technologies, along with establishing a digital ethics and education team.
From there, finding partners who can assist with the adopting of technologies will be required, along with training in key strategic areas such as AI, Infonomics and data science, concluded Havart-Simkin.