A recent Forbes article by Maciej Kranz (https://bit.ly/2Mmgl3w) points out that IoT adopton has been “more complex, costlier and riskier” than anticipated, making it a slower process than was originally predicted.  Kranz looks at four key differences between expectation and reality.  When IoT was introduced in 1999, and as it has taken shape over the last 10 years, people were promised an idealistic world of technology.  Many expected that the IoT industry would be further developed at this point.  Kranz details key predictions vs today’s reality and explains how businesses can prepare for “IoT’s continued evolution.”

Prediction 1: The IoT will be an overnight sensation

The first is the rate at which the IoT industry would grow.  Initially forecasted that there would be 50 billion devices by 2020, that number has since been lowered to 20 billion.  This is partially due to many companies encountering barriers when trying to implement IoT.  The primary barrier has been cost and speed of implementation.  Other roadblocks Kranz mentions is the recalibration of sensors, integration into legacy infrastructures, and the need for heavy customization.

Prediction 2: Vendors thought they could go it alone

Vendors expected to be able to build vertically and horizontally with sensors and software.  But they have had to refocus on their core capabilities and customers have now become the driving force as to how and why IoT is implemented.  The consumers have pushed various specialists to work together to deliver a solution. “IoT requires collaboration.”

Solutions built on data collected and analyzed through IoT devices are dramatically improving operations of many companies while enabling others to create new value propositions, new services, new revenue streams and new business models. Although some of the predictions of the IoT didn’t quite pan out the way we had envisioned, businesses must take note of the realities and adjust expectations and approaches accordingly.  –Maciej Kranz, Forbes Councils

Prediction 3: IoT technology would be seamlessly interconnected

When it was first introduced, IoT was an idealistic solution with billions of devices interconnected.  People did not expect to struggle with connecting the digital and physical worlds. Issues making connections led to vendor groups working together to set standards. In the industrial market, OPC/UA is becoming the common ground.

Prediction 4: Traditional security solutions would be enough

The final topic Kranz covered was security.  It was assumed that old OT security tools and generic IT tools could operate and secure new IoT technology.  Since, we have learned that an integrated architectural approach is the best security strategy. And to be even more specific, one flexible security architecture for the entire enterprise that is multi-vendor and developed jointly by customers and horizontal/vertical specialists. Security is still one of the greatest obstacles to IoT adoption.

The learning process has been slower than expected with implementation, but this is just part of the growing pains of a new industry. That being said, IoT is helping and enabling growth across many industries. The misalignment of expectations is an example of the overestimate effect in the short run and underestimate in long run. Kranz concludes that he “remains steadfast that the future (of IoT) will be incredibly bright.”