IoT 2019 Predictions (Part 4)

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IoT 2019 Predictions (Part 4)

Check out the latest IoT technologies that will gain traction in the coming year.

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Given how fast technology is changing, we thought it would be interesting to ask IT executives to share their predictions for 2019. Here's what they told us about IoT:

Philippe Guillemette, Chief Technology Officer, Sierra Wireless

Autonomous car hype will hit a wall, while automakers will put the pedal to the metal on connected car services. For years, we have been hearing autonomous cars are “just around the corner.” However, in 2019, the autonomous car hype cycle will hit a wall, as automakers, policymakers, and the general public increasingly realize requirements for fully autonomous driving to be commercialized – including car-to-car and car-to-road infrastructure communications, the ability of autonomous cars to drive without Internet connectivity, and the “no-collision tolerance” demands of the public — will not be generally available or implemented before 2025. Instead, automakers will focus on developing new and more powerful connected car services — including navigation, safety, in-car Wi-Fi, insurance, and infotainment services that can take advantage of the cost and speed advantages of soon-to-be launched 5G cellular wireless networks. Your car might not be driving itself soon, but with these new connected car services, you and your passengers’ experience as you drive your car will still be radically transformed over the coming years. 

The emergence of the Internet of life-saving things (IoLST). Public safety agencies and private companies recognize the potential of using the IoT to better protect people and property but have struggled to integrate the IoT deeply into wearables or other equipment. In the case of public safety agencies, they were slowed by their need for a dedicated, reliable, high-speed public safety wireless networks that they can depend on for mission-critical IoT applications. However, states are now beginning to rollout FirstNet, the new high-speed dedicated public safety wireless network, providing first responders and other public safety personnel with the reliable, fast connectivity they need for IoLST solutions that can help them do their jobs more efficiently and effectively. FirstNet, along with new Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies and IoT platforms with data orchestration functionality, addresses many of the barriers that were slowing the growth of the IoLST. Given this, we can expect to see a variety of new IoLST solutions being developed — firefighter helmets with sensors that can measure a fire’s temperatures and communicate them to Central Command, automated drones that can arrive at a shooting or other crime scene before police, EMS personnel bodycams that can send real-time video of patients to hospitals while the patient is still in the ambulance. Even over the past year, we have already seen examples of the Internet of Life-Saving Things, with the Intellinium’s development of a smart safety shoe, that allow workers to send hands-free “Mayday” alerts.

eSIMs will act as a catalyst for IoT growth. For a long time, carriers resisted the move to eSIMs because they wanted to “hold” onto their customers. However, now that Apple has included an eSIM in its new iPhones, iPads, and watches, eSIM adoption will accelerate in 2019, pushing large-scale deployment and interoperability across carriers globally. This will, in turn, accelerate IoT growth, because using traditional, plastic SIM cards creates major logistical and reliability issues for companies deploying IoT solutions with cellular connectivity. Simple, low-touch solutions like eSIM will help the IoT reach its full potential.  While the move to eSIMs will have an impact on the smartphone market, over the long term, it will have more impact on unlocking the IoT market because IoT requires extremely good coverage and quality of service. With eSIMs, IoT customers can access multiple networks for their devices without switching out SIM cards in the field (a costly option, if it’s even possible), eSIMs dramatically simplify IoT device manufacturing and deployment processes. With eSIMs, the SIM essentially disappears, and the IoT device owner or manufacturers will have network connectivity out-of-the-box, and they will be able to choose the best service option based on their location and needs, and eSIMs will allow IoT solution vendors to deliver complete, fully managed easy-to-deploy IoT platforms with features like data orchestration that allow customers to get the data they need from their assets and focus on their business applications. 

Larry Leblanc, Chief Engineer, Security, Sierra Wireless

IoT security policy discussions will get heated. In 2018, governments began accelerating their work to develop and implement IoT security policies, with California passing the nation’s first state IoT cybersecurity law, the UK government issuing new guidelines on IoT cybersecurity, and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology publishing a draft interagency report on IoT cybersecurity standards. As the IoT industry begins working to follow these new laws and guidelines while government officials work to develop new ones, expect an increase in heated discussions on policies for delivering IoT device security updates, implementing IoT defense in depth, ensuring IoT users follow security best practices, and creating IoT resiliency, as IoT stakeholders debate the best ways to realize these goals. Despite some thinking that these discussions will sow fear that slows the growth of the IoT, more and more IoT industry leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders will recognize that an open discussion of the IoT’s security challenges, along with new, well-thought-out policies to address these issues, is required to build a secure foundation for the IoT that supports long-term growth. 

The rise of IoT anomaly detection, Security-as-a-Service, and other new IoT security solutions. As enterprises increasingly make the IoT a core element of their digital transformation strategies, demand is rising for IoT security solutions that can help protect them from the growing number of IoT cyberattacks seeking to not just use IoT devices for DDoS attacks, but also access sensitive data stored on these devices. 2019 will see the introduction of innovative new IoT-specific security solutions designed to meet this demand. This includes IoT security-as-a-service offerings that simplify IoT security and AI-powered technologies that can identify abnormal IoT device or application behavior, enabling enterprises to respond quicker and more effectively to attacks.

Nitesh Bansal, SVP and Global Head of Engineering, Infosys

Industrial IoT is broadly seen as the next evolutionary stage in manufacturing and engineering services. Here is how I see it evolving in 2019. One of the key purposes of the Industrie 4.0 maturity index was to provide a clear evolutionary path for industries in their IoT adoption journey. With the inherent nature of IoT having multi-skill, multi-technology, and multi-provider challenges, manufacturing industries in 2017-2018 executed multiple proofs of concepts to kick-start their Industrial IoT journey. These PoCs initially covered a small footprint of their large setup, covering either a single shop floor, machine, or factory, with the purpose to prove the technology stack and, thereby, the benefits for the industry in terms of operational intelligence, improved asset and process efficiencies, migrating manual to digital processes, and so on. Driven by multifold business benefits that these offered, many of these companies moved on to industrialize their PoCs to entire factories and multiple factories. Over 80 percent of the Industrial IoT is targeted at brownfield industries, and this has challenges unique to every setup, with IoT ecosystem integrators, like Infosys, playing a crucial role (see more here). In line with the maturity model that defined four stages of maturity – Visibility, Transparency, Predictability and Adaptability, most of the manufacturing industries are at the ‘visibility’ level of evolution that is trying to solve the data problems. In brownfield industries, the assets are not smart without sensors, nor digitized, and the OT systems in silo/compartmentalized. Hence, solving this problem has been the focus over the last couple of years with end-to-end integration to achieve visibility and transparency of systems. In 2019, this evolution will continue with a focus on greater integration of systems, as well as inculcating other emerging technologies that will fuel an exponential increase in new use cases with their combined power.

IT-OT integration will continue to be in focus, especially around ISA-95 stack integration across all the layers. The integration of the controllers, SCADA, Historian with systems like MES/MOM and PLM with the core for getting clarity and visibility on the operations, increased automation, asset utilization, asset performance, process efficiency, digital quality assurance, supply chain, and finally, cost. This will help in addressing the hot spots in the manufacturing setup that are adding to the cost and inefficiencies.

While this evolves, industries will start coupling other next-generation technologies into their IIoT suite to derive greater business benefits. These technologies include AR/VR and Digital Twins in the product technical service area to achieve more efficient and immersive troubleshooting; autonomous technologies like robotics and AGVs on the shop floor for goods transfer; augmented analytics and artificial intelligence to get more useful insights from the ongoing implementation as there will be a significant amount of data generated; also the recent acceleration in 5G evolution is driven by huge opportunities foreseen in Industrial IoT for mobile IoT technologies on the back of NB-IOT and LTE-M for 5G to be the next in providing low power wide area (LPWA) connectivity, network slicing, benefits of wireless connectivity on shop floor, etc. Although technologies, like blockchain, may not be an immediate requirement within industrial IoT, as the systems are still mostly closed loop systems and are trust established, cybersecurity focus will continue in 2019 for device security, data integrity, device integrity, access control, authorization, and then data privacy.

Examples of Industrial IoT Bolstering the Smart Factory in 2019

  • Integrated Lifecycle Management – Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system/application plays a pivotal role in establishing a single source of truth. The digital artifacts of the product starting with digital engineering enabled by CAD/CAE, Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Engineering Services (MES), and Quality Management helps in product tracking and tracing across the lifecycle stages. Industrial IoT enables the IT-OT integration, allowing data from machines, assets, process, and systems to be integrated onto a common platform to derive insights. Through this end-to-end, connected system information flow, it helps in establishing and tracking the lifecycle stages. This integration helps the manufacturing industry to track “as designed” vs. “as operated” vs. “as serviced”.
  • Digitization – Industrial IoT has removed manual/paperwork, thus, enabling digitization and automation of work process. Sensor enabling the machines and assets has helped automate these process as the data is available. For example, with integrated ISA-95 stack, the production process is digitized by integrating MES and PLCs. Real-time visibility of the operations, process, and the machine condition and health is now integrated onto a single dashboard, helping all personas in the factory to access the information and make decisions faster.
  • Organizational Change – Due to the paradigm shift in the way things are run in the day-to-day life of the various personas like operator, technician, plant manager, production manager, etc., there is a need and stress on learning things to be done in a new way. The personas should get seamless user experience and unambiguous work instruction that should be agnostic to the technologies that go behind the experience. The learning of new skills and way of work will help in the transition to digital manufacturing. The Industrial IoT led digital transformation impacts the current organization, and the current silo and compartmentalized organizations within the enterprise will become more collaborative and integrated.

Countries That Will Be the Main Pioneers in Industrial IoT

We conducted a survey of 433 companies on the awareness and adoption of Industry 4.0, with the survey showing 15 percent already adopting and 85 percent with work in progress plans to adopt in their roadmap for 2020.

  • China was ahead among the countries in the adoption of Industry 4.0 or digital manufacturing. The reasoning behind this is that China is a manufacturing powerhouse with fewer brownfield industries compared to other countries, for example, Germany or Japan. (Other countries that have this advantage in potential future greenfield deployment of factories include India and Brazil, with Industrial IoT being implemented during the design and planning of these industries.)
  • Among the countries that have large brownfield industries, Germany and North America are leading the pack with large-scale adoption and a strong ecosystem of Industry 4.0. Consortiums, forums, and universities all aligned towards this direction.

Technologies That Will See a Rapid Increase in 2019 to Support Engineering Services

  • 5G — a year ago, the use cases predicted for 5G were tilted towards consumer use cases, but with Industrial IoT going mainstream, the huge potential that the high bandwidth, low latency, and pervasive communication that this promises has been recognized (for use cases in industrial automation, remote monitoring, IoT platforms, streaming with AR/VR for remote assistance and guidance), and now, there is an accelerated focus on 5G including field trials. Though most of this is based on pre-standard technologies because interoperability and standardization is work in progress, there is increased focus by the key players to streamline these in 2019 and get final standards by 2020.
  • SDN/NFV – We had predicted in our Trends 2014 that SDN/NFV would be a game changer. The adoption of SDN and NFV application is now rapidly increasing in the networking industry, quickly replacing hardware and embedded equipment. 
  • Autonomous technologies — there will be increased adoption of robotics beyond the traditional manufacturing shop floor industrial robots. For example, Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGV) and Bots will become prevalent in dangerous and hazardous environment thereby not relying on humans and manual labor. AGVs on the shop floor will help in improving efficiencies. 
  • Digital Engineering – Digital twins, advanced 3D modeling, simulations, and testing of designs will be increasingly adopted in manufacturing. Design cycle time will be reduced, at the same time, with advanced simulations the validation and quality will be improved. Complementing this is the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) integration that helps in traceability, compliance, and, most importantly, reduce product manufacturing defects.
  • Additive Manufacturing – This technology is out of the labs and also proved cost-effective for large-scale industrial adoption. The metal-based additive manufacturing and composites-based additive manufacturing will drastically change the way things have been designed and manufactured. This will revolutionize the product design and cost reduction.
  • AI-Augmented Analytics – that empowers companies to combine scenarios, increase understanding, and make real-time predictive decisions with AI-powered analytics tools scoring over scarce and expensive data scientists
  • Augmented Reality/VR – increasing adoption of technologies for realizing immersive experiences and higher efficiencies at troubleshooting in the workplace,
5G, IIoT, Industry 4.0, connected devices, data, iot, security

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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