Beware of (some) IoT hype

Earlier in my career I worked for IDG’s Network World, Computerworld, and The Industry Standard, respected trade publications covering enterprise and consumer IT. One thing I developed was a healthy skepticism for buzzwords and trends pushed by vendors and some analysts. What was red hot one year might be an dead end a few years later … or would develop in a way that no one anticipated.

At #IoTfM17 I heard some of the speakers cite fantastically optimistic statistics about IoT’s growth trajectory, including the mother of all estimates put out by Cisco in 2011 of 50 BILLION connected devices by 2020. I don’t believe self-serving numbers like this (who the heck will install and implement all of these things?), but estimates I do put some faith in relate to where the things will be used: Most will be for industry, not consumers.

Endpoint: Industry is one of the last frontiers for an information technology overhaul. It’s been talked about for years, but now it’s finally happening, as shown by a growing number of pilot projects in various areas of industry, including some fine examples that were showcased at #IoTfM17 (more below). There’s also a shift in how vendors are overhauling their product lines and enabling connectivity with other industrial and IT systems. Finally, there’s a new appreciation of the value of data — not just for simple reporting, but actually leveraging it for automation, predictive maintenance, and competitive advantage.

This is an excerpt from Priority Payload Report.