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As we kick off the New Year, not only are we looking back on 2017, but we are reaching out to our contributors and industry thought leaders to discuss predictions for the coming year.

Nik Sanchez, Business Development Manger, IoT, at Comstor

Recently Nik Sanchez, Business Development Manger, IoT, at Comstor, wrote a piece for EDGE360 on the Rise of Internet of Things (IoT) and how partners can plan and build an IOT segment within their business. As we enter 2018, IoT will not only be a growth segment, but is predicted to be a watershed year.

Maciej Kranz, Vice President of Strategic Innovation at Cisco, recently said that this year we can expect to move from the initial phase of incremental improvements into a new phase of IoT momentum. Traditional IoT barriers, including security and industry standards, will be addressed, making the way for more IoT advancements. Kranz’s top 4 predictions for IoT  are included below and you can also read his full list of predictions, which originally appeared in this Cisco blog.

IoT Spurs Growth of Artificial intelligence (AI), Fog Computing, and Blockchain

IoT devices generate data, but that data is only useful when we do something with it, according to Kranz. That is where AI, fog computing, and blockchain comes in. Each of these technologies is gaining significant importance by making data valuable and creating new business models and revenue streams.  “If IoT is the body, AI is the brains,” Kranz explains. Fog (or edge) computing, meanwhile, will help companies overcome the bandwidth challenges of processing huge volumes of real-time data by locating processing power closer to the source of data. And blockchain will provide secure ledgers for IoT-enabled transactions.

The Rise of Co-Everything

From a technology perspective, IoT applications increasingly rely on technologies sourced from a wide range of vendors, says Kranz. The rise of IoT is forcing companies large and small to co-innovate and co-develop.

Accelerated Move to Open Standards and Interoperability

One of the hurdles with IoT, as with other emerging technologies, is the lack of standardization. Kranz predicts that in 2018, industry standards and consortia will consolidate. “We’re finally starting to see companies recognize that they need to open up architectures and get multiple ecosystems working together,” he says.

IoT as a Key Security Domain

Cyberattacks aren’t going away, but in 2018, Kranz believes that organizations “will finally begin to take IoT security seriously.” High-profile distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have served as a huge wake-up call, he says, and we can expect to see a corresponding rise in investment in security, both on the part of IoT device makers and on the part of the consumers and enterprises that deploy them. “There’s a widespread recognition that not enough has been done thus far, so 2018 needs to be a year in which the threat landscape is tackled head-on,” says Kranz.

Stayed tuned to EDGE360 as we continue to focus on 2018 predictions from industry thought leaders and contributors.