What to expect as the IoT expands in 2020

23 Jan 2020

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Forrester’s Frank Gillett outlines three predictions for the internet of things this year, from new devices to new threats.

Using the internet to connect physical products and operations to business digital systems has evolved far from the roots of simple RFID tags. The internet of things (IoT) is proliferating across consumer products, industrial operations and supply chains.

As predicted for 2019, the variety of IoT software platforms has continued to grow and evolve to complement the cloud giants’ foundation capabilities rather than compete with them.

In 2020, business use of IoT will keep expanding as it’s added to more products and business operations. Just as the market has come to expect updated digital experiences, it will begin to expect the same from experiences in the physical world.

Customers increasingly expect that OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) know what their experience is with the product and that you can give them an up-to-date status on how well the business process is working toward their needs.

The IoT market will continue to see dramatic and rapid change in 2020. Here are three predictions from Forrester’s report on what to expect this year.

1. Smart speaker displays will enter the fold

In 2019, 41m US households had smart speakers, and they are proliferating in other markets as suppliers do the necessary language and culture localisations. Lower prices of $50 and under are also a major factor in this global expansion.

In 2020, Amazon, Baidu and Google will drive major adoption of smart displays: smart speakers that have a phone, camera or tablet-sized screen to enable visual responses and interactions. These devices will also play a growing role in the workplace.

2. Ransomware attacks will come via consumer products

Cyberattackers have so far targeted companies with ransomware by hacking their internal computer systems. In 2020, we expect to see attackers instead go after the company’s products in the hands of customers. They will block the connection or operation of connected products such as home lighting or manufacturing machinery until the product maker pays a large ransom.

3. A major product-as-a-service ecosystem will launch

Connected products create a constant communication flow between customer and product maker. They also create ongoing costs for product makers, who need to monitor experiences and send software updates.

OEMs are seeking new revenue sources for their connected products to offset those costs. In 2020, we predict a major consumer or B2B provider will convert from product sales to an IoT services offering, backed by partners in an ecosystem.

By Frank Gillett

Frank Gillett is a Forrester vice-president and principal analyst serving CIO professionals, their teams and tech industry suppliers by predicting the disruption and business impact of the internet of things, connected home, connected car and the landscape of emerging technologies. He and several Forrester analysts contributed to the company’s 2020 IoT predictions, including Michele Pelino, Paul Miller, Chris Sherman, Heidi Shey, Julie A Ask, Thomas Husson, Charlie Dai and Andre Kindness.

Download Forrester’s Predictions 2020 guide for more information on the major dynamics that will impact firms this year.

A version of this article originally appeared on the Forrester blog.