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Memfault 2023 Predictions: IoT Development and Industry Trends


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

IoT Development and Industry Trends

By François Baldassari, CEO, Memfault

2022 has seen acceleration of the IoT due to new edge use cases and improvement in hardware capability. As the industry matures, IoT businesses are looking at ways to support long-term viability that can take advantage of continual innovation in both hardware and software. Beyond innovation, developer teams have to dedicate much of their time and talents to getting a product in the field and, more importantly, ensuring that it works - and works well - all the time.  

As IoT products penetrate nearly every consumer and industrial area, user patience for poor design or operations has plummeted. Glitches that users were once willing to put up with during the IoT's nascent days now drive those same users to purchase a different brand's product. Along with dependence on connected devices comes rising demands for functionality. As we head into a new year, there is no shortage of examples of device failures. Designing to respond quickly and fix those issues has become a critical consideration for product teams. 

Even more important than functionality is device security and the need to design with adequate protections in place. Maybe it's a breach of third-party code or an attack targeting an unsecured network, but it's not enough to address security issues after they've risen. Today's device manufacturers and developers must build products with security and functionality in mind and focus on device health long after a product has hit the shelves.

Below are five predictions that IoT companies should consider over the coming year. 

1.   Talent shortage will drive faster adoption of tooling and automation.

If 2022 was the year that supply chain issues vexed IoT companies, 2023 is the year talent shortages will be a bottleneck. As devices become more complex, more engineers are needed, and they're expected to have a broader skillset than ever. As  a result, hardware businesses will struggle to find engineering talent and will turn to better tooling and automation to make the best use of the engineers they have.

2.   The transition to recurring revenue business models will accelerate.

Hardware products increasingly rely on software and the cloud to deliver value, which cannot be sustained with hardware sales alone. Recurring revenue is required to support the rich experiences that customers expect and to create predictable revenue streams.

3.   An uptick in adoption of higher-order programming languages. 

While C and C++ are known for application performance, they're often affected by memory management bugs which have led to the rise of other programming languages. Rust is poised to grow in 2023, largely due to its ability to flag security issues early in the development process and save a lot of time debugging in production. I also expect to see growth in embedded runtimes for languages like Python (MicroPython), Javascript (Jerryscript), and Lua.

4.   Rise in popularity for open-source chip design

RISC-V will see a big breakout as it gives companies of all sizes the kind of design freedom previously only available to businesses with big budgets and design teams. While it does not directly threaten ARM yet, RISC-V is making headway in the low cost Bluetooth and WiFi MCUs, with the ESP32-C3 leading the charge. 

5.   Developers will look for better ways to prepare for in-field operational issues

As use cases expand, competition increases, and price points drop, companies will turn to derisking processes during development to differentiate. Part of the product life cycle will include device reliability engineering, anticipating the inevitable bugs and glitches that will surface post-launch.

Many IoT companies have successfully balanced increased customer demand for stability, capability, and low cost. As competition intensifies, I think we'll see widespread adoption of these new developments in business and development approaches to the IoT as companies seek to differentiate and achieve long-term success.



François Baldassari 

François Baldassari is the Founder and CEO of Memfault, the first observability platform for IoT devices. An embedded software engineer by trade, it was his powerful passion for tooling and automation in software engineering that drove him to start Memfault. Previous to Memfault, he ran the firmware team at Oculus and built the operating system at Pebble. François has a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Brown University.

Published Thursday, December 01, 2022 7:47 AM by David Marshall
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