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Nerdery 2019 Predictions: The Two Most Important Applications of IoT in 2019

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2019.  Read them in this 11th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Taqee Khaled, Director of Strategy at Nerdery

The Two Most Important Applications of IoT in 2019

Enterprise IoT solutions will only increase global reach in 2019, with worldwide spending expected to reach $745 billion this year ($194 billion of that spend solely in the U.S.). This double-digit growth - a 15 percent increase over 2018 - is expected to continue and the reasoning is multifold:

  • Increase in processing speeds
  • Decrease in physical size of IoT solutions
  • Lower cost of core technologies
  • Decrease in barriers to adoption

As senior leadership teams gain familiarity and comfort with IoT's value proposition to their businesses, and as emerging and increasingly tech-forward business leaders move into these positions, IoT's reach will only grow. Already, 86 percent of senior executives in energy, utilities and mining say IoT is critical to their lines of business, as do 90 percent of those in technology, media and telecommunications.

At this point, companies can't afford not to budget for enterprise IoT solutions. But companies looking to benefit - both in efficiencies and in profit - must be strategic and should consider the following areas as big opportunities to introduce IoT.

Risk management

Prioritizing risk and safety inherently reinforces trust between companies and customers, especially when done transparently. Fortunately, data and sensors allow IoT to mitigate risk in myriad industries by identifying trends and raising red flags before problems arise. In 2019, the healthcare and automotive industries will be leaders in this category.

From a healthcare perspective, both providers and payers stand to benefit, and when applied properly, IoT technologies can literally save lives. Applications that support patient medication adherence, in particular, will drive major cost-saving and health improvement opportunities, as will IoT devices that speak directly with EHRs. Here are some valuable uses for IoT in the healthcare arena:

  • Simple, embedded digital tools are being piloted on a large scale to mitigate infection risk around replaceable medical instruments
  • High-fidelity smart threads and sticker or patch sensors track everything from cardiac readouts to body chemistry and sleep patterns
  • Sensor data at long-term care facilities can help decrease the risk of falls and infections
  • Wearable fitness devices are increasingly subject to secondary analyses that help insurers recognize members who are taking steps to actively change their individual risk

While IoT has received plenty of attention in the auto industry because of the complexity behind driverless car technology, in 2019 it will continue to enhance the way vehicles interact with their users based on real-time data. In the auto industry arena:

  • Indicators for engines, oil and gas tanks will interact more actively with users' phones and voice accounts (like Alexa or Google Assistant), making the total management and awareness of vehicles more commonplace and engaged.
  • Fleets of vehicles will start to speak with smart grids in more meaningful ways about traffic conditions and accidents.

Systems management

IoT helps municipal officials manage cities as interconnected ecosystems that go far beyond the smart grids of the past decade. Personal devices put the power of urban IoT into the hands of the people, letting residents engage with traffic, school buses, outages, weather, trash collection and more. Other potential advances include:

  • AI-driven grid management maximizing alternative energy sources like district energy or community solar power
  • Local initiatives turning smart cities into groupings of smart neighborhoods where city councils and townships invest in information-connected enhancements

In the manufacturing world, facilities will move online as connected ecosystems encompassing factories, warehouses and distribution centers, with benefits like:

  • Sensor data used to add to pilot blockchain ecosystems that ensure more complete assurance around production and tracking
  • Facilities that learn to moderate energy consumption and improve efficiency by identifying hidden trends in production data

IoT can benefit any industry, but it's important to assess your company's needs and readiness before putting use case trials into play. Keep both efficiencies and profit in mind, and consult an external partner who can reveal your blind spots and help you move past essential pain points.


About the Author

Taqee Khaled 

Taqee is the director of strategy and innovation services at the Minneapolis-based digital consultancy, Nerdery. His work centers around helping companies make sustained value-driven decisions in approaching digital growth and transformation.

Published Wednesday, February 13, 2019 7:27 AM by David Marshall
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