2016 has been an incredible year for the IoT industry and the pace of innovation looks like it will accelerate in 2017. Last week, I participated in a webinar, organized by Canonical, on the IoT trends to watch in 2017. It was a really good discussion, so feel free to listen to the recording. I think it would also be interesting to summarize some of the 2017 trends I see in the IoT industry and specifically in the Eclipse IoT community.
By some counts, there are 300 IoT software platforms available in the market today. This is obviously not sustainable and I see this number dropping significantly in 2017. It appears the VC community is slowing down their investments in IoT startups and expect to see some of the more successful startups being acquired by larger companies looking to complete their IoT technology platform.
In the long term, the number of IoT software platforms is going to consolidate to five-seven suppliers. It will take a number of years, but this is the direction the industry will take. If history repeats itself, an open source platform will be one that survives, and I expect it will be from Eclipse IoT.
Importance of Vertical Industries for IoT
In 2017, we will see more and more focus on vertical industries, like Industrie 4.0, smart cities, and connect cars. This is because IoT technology vendors need to show business value, and industry solutions are how organizations see the real benefit of IoT.
We will see the focus on vertical industries in different areas, including:
go-to-market strategies that offer industry-specific analytics.
vertical industry consortiums focusing more on IoT technologies, like Industrie 4.0 in Germany.
Follow the Money: IoT Analytics
IoT Analytics will be very important in 2017. All the data that is being collected needs to be transformed into useful information. Expect to see analytics at the edge and via IoT cloud platforms. In 2017, we will see communities of IoT analytic algorithms emerge.
In the Eclipse IoT community, I hope we see analytics technology being incorporated into Eclipse Kura and Eclipse Kapua and new Eclipse projects that focus on IoT analytics.
Investments in Fog/Edge Computing
More and more technology is going to be released around Fog/Edge computing. The recent Amazon Greengrass announcement is a good example. It will be interesting to see the work of the OpenFog Computing Consortium being rolled out in 2017. The Eclipse ioFog project has lots of promise, and I expect big things from it in 2017.
In 2017, Fog/Edge computing will become the buzzword for the IoT platform vendors, though of course, the definition and terminology still aren't clear for "fog" or "edge."
Launch of IoT Markets
As IoT Platforms emerge, expect to see IoT markets or marketplaces emerge around them. For instance, Litmus Automation recently announced a marketplace for their platform. In the Eclipse IoT community, we plan to launch in 2017 an IoT Market that will support the Eclipse Kura and Eclipse Smarthome ecosystems of drivers and applications.
Overall, 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting year for the Eclipse IoT community. Eclipse IoT is well positioned to be the leader in open source IoT. I expect to see continued growth in adoption of Eclipse IoT technology and technical innovation within the open source projects.