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Top 4 growth opportunities in the IoT industry for 2021

Edge computing is a foundational technology for industrial enterprises as it offers lower latency, responsive data collection, and lower costs. Frost & Sullivan expects that 90% of enterprises will utilize edge computing by 2022.

Despite being in a nascent stage, the multi-access edge computing (MEC) market—an edge computing commercial offering from operators in wireless networks—is estimated to grow at an astounding compound annual growth rate of 157.4%, garnering a revenue of $7.23 billion by 2024 from $64.1 million in 2019.

What’s Driving Growth?

  • Demand for latency reduction in mobile networks for different applications
  • Data-driven companies and governments are requiring real-time analytics.

Recommendations & Best Practices

  • Cloud providers and telcos should develop industry-specific offerings for gaming and streaming markets, to capitalize on increased interest due to COVID-19.
  • Telcos must engage with enterprises to evaluate the deployment of private wireless networks and ecosystems to enable Manufacturing 4.0, automated mining, precision agriculture, and others, leveraging the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

The convergence of IT (information technology) and OT (operational technology), brings opportunities to derive greater value from Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, Oil & Gas and other operations; however, security risks may be increased.

While 72% of enterprises globally intend to increase investments in IoT in 2021, based on a Frost & Sullivan global survey, 50% are concerned with security risks (the top-ranked concern) and 42% are concerned with privacy risks.

What’s Driving Growth?

  • Many of the current security solutions in the IT world are not custom-built to handle the complexities of an OT environment, which may include outdated legacy systems
  • Increasing threats, such as device malware, hijacking and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), demand security solutions.

Recommendations & Best Practices

  • Security Vendors and Services Providers must educate clients on how to secure IIoT implementations
  • Furthermore, IT and OT vendors should work together to adopt an integrated approach to security.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology. Blockchain solutions involve a digital database that is managed by computers belonging to a peer-to-peer (P2P) network. Using this technology, participants can confirm transactions without the need for a central clearing authority.

Several innovative applications have been created using IoT and blockchain. For example, cold chain logistics guarantee end-to-end visibility of perishable products during transportation, with IoT sensors and connectivity ensuring the temperature remains within a certain range. The convergence of IoT, Blockchain and AI creates unlimited possibilities to improve the management of systems.

What’s Driving Growth?

  • The need to make processes more efficient and reduce risk.
  • IoT and AI are key technologies that allow for new applications using blockchain.

Recommendations & Best Practices

  • Enterprises should consider combining blockchain, AI, and IoT technologies as a way to solve complex problems, and generate value from their data.
  • IT decision-makers should engage in Blockchain discussions with suppliers, clients and partners to solve specific problems and improve transactional processes. Also, should leverage IoT and AI to generate and interpret data, and make automated decisions.

COVID-19 has been the key disruptor of retail in 2020.
There are four key trends for 2021 in regards to the Future of Retail:

  • The physical retail market is being reinvented, and stores are shifting from small boxes to novel boxes (experiential stores).
  • New points of commerce, such as in-vehicle commerce, are being introduced.
  • Generation Alpha, born from 2010 to 2024, is the new generation of influencers and future customers.
  • Technology advancements, such as IoT, are being incorporated in retail processes to enhance the overall customer experience and drive purchases.

What’s Driving Growth?

  • Retailers are implementing IoT-enabled automation to improve productivity, reduce costs and improve customer experience.
  • Connected vehicles, wearables and other devices that allow for payments are on the rise.

Recommendations & Best Practices
After the pandemic, retailers should begin to look beyond what consumers want; they should build conversations around product experiences, brand engagement, and preferred purchase options. Frost & Sullivan

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