This is the final installment in a 5-part series on Ayla Network’s IoT survey on the “Biggest Opportunities and Challenges of IoT-Enabled Products and Services.”

The online survey we conducted in March 2017 was designed to explore what people creating Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, or planning to do so, see as the biggest IoT opportunities and challenges in their path.

As outlined in previous posts, some of the things that emerged from the survey were:

  • Compared to those who have already launched IoT products, respondents still in the planning or pondering stages—call them IoT newbies—tend to overestimate the challenges and underestimate the potential benefits of IoT implementations.
  • A significant majority of those who already offer IoT solutions report using a combination of home-grown and third-party resources.
  • Cost emerged as the top consideration when evaluating IoT technologies behind connected products. But the often-heralded benefits of data analytics and scalability, which hardly registered at the evaluation stage, became important later, when identifying which IoT areas that respondents hoped to improve. 

Predicting Future IoT Trends 

While it’s impossible to predict with certainty the trajectory of any evolving technology—after all, none of us has a crystal ball to see into the future—here are a few thoughts about where the IoT market might be headed, based on our survey results:

  • IoT 2.0 is well on its way. The IoT has progressed a long way in its transition from a novelty to a mainstream tool. More than half of our survey respondents already have IoT-enabled products on the market. Among those who don’t, more than one-third work at companies planning to start IoT projects in the next 12 months. And experienced IoT implementers are increasingly looking beyond simple IoT connectivity to concerns about what to do with IoT data and how to scale their connected product offerings.
  • The IoT will touch essentially every industry. The IoT is already infiltrating beyond its early use cases of smart home, building automation, industrial automation, wearables, and so on. Survey respondents came from all the obvious markets, as well as industries such as health and beauty products, education, food and beverage, plumbing, and outdoor power equipment, which haven’t yet caught the connection bug in any great numbers. But at the rate it’s expanding, the IoT will soon be ubiquitous.
  • The benefits of IoT will be well understood, while risks and challenges will be reduced. Comparing those looking back from the perspective of having launched IoT products with those looking ahead from the sidelines, it’s clear that going through the IoT implementation process leads to a more positive perspective. In general, we predict that jumping into the IoT will be a good bet for the vast majority of manufacturers—as well as the customers they serve.
  • DIY IoT might not be dead, but it will continue to lose steam for most IoT implementations. In our survey, few respondents planned to depend entirely on their own internal resources to build their IoT solutions, and even fewer planned to hand over 100% of their IoT implementation to an outside party. The vast majority chose a mixed implementation, combining home-grown and outsourced resources. This realization points to the fact that in the classic build-or-buy question, the answer is “both”—and IoT specialists will continue to play an important role.

Another point that emerged from our survey is that IoT technologies and expertise delivered in a specialized IoT platform, such as the Ayla IoT platform, will continue to be important for the foreseeable future. 

If you have any questions about our survey, or about how you can tap our Ayla Networks expertise to help make your next IoT project more successful, we invite you to contact us. And be sure to catch up on our previous posts about the IoT survey:

  • First post, providing an overview of the survey results
  • Second post, suggesting that those waiting on the IoT sidelines might be overestimating IoT challenges and underestimating IoT benefits
  • Third post, describing how most manufacturers are taking a mixed approach to IoT development
  • Fourth post, highlighting some top considerations for IoT evaluation and development