According to Philippe Guillemette, CTO of Sierra Wireless, the complexities of “building and maintaining IoT infrastructure have hindered the growth of the sector leading to the failure of as many as 75% of IoT projects.” The complexity of IoT projects is attributed to the ineffective integration of edge devices with cloud services, difficulties in bridging the OT/IT divide, and the lack of effective IoT security solutions.
5G and the integration of Edge Devices with the Cloud
The ineffectiveness of the 4G network contributed to a large number of failed IoT projects since wireless connectivity plays a critical role in the integration of edge devices with the cloud. Even though 5G can enable effective integration, the network is currently in the deployment and implementation phase. As the adoption of 5G accelerates, experts expect that 5G’s mmWave spectrum to deliver new and highly transformative “wireless applications to consumers and businesses,” said Senior Product Manager of Sierra Wireless, Dave Dixon.
For organizations to exploit the higher data speeds, low-latencies, and other capabilities offered by mmWave 5G, edge devices like smartphones will have to redesigned or rebuilt from the ground-up along with wireless network infrastructure. With these obstacles in mind, applications driven by the mmWave 5G will not be introduced extensively until 2023. Another alternative is the sub-6GHz 5G, which is expected to be available sooner than mmWave 5G because it relies on the existing 4G LTE spectrum. In 2020, the rollout of sub-6GHz 5G will accelerate the growth of 5G infrastructure, modules, and other technologies enabling the emergence of new 5G-enabled IoT applications.
Cloudification of IoT
With 5G and its capabilities, it is expected that the number of new IoT solutions to effectively integrate “edge devices, wireless connectivity, and cloud APIs into a single all-in-one package” will increase, said Guillemette. Effective integration is important because it will accelerate the ‘cloudification of IoT,’ allowing organizations to bridge the gap between cloud services and equipment, containers, wearables, and so on. Ultimately, bridging of the gap will free organizations and shift their focus from infrastructure to data and other core data-related processes, which will reduce the complexity of IoT projects.
Bridging the Gap between OT and IT
Complexities of IoT can also be traced back to difficulties in using IoT to bridge the gap between OT and IT. With the cloudification of the IoT, organizations can “plug their OT equipment into their IT systems,” says. Vice President and General Manager for IoT Solutions at Sierra Wireless, Olivier Pauzet. With effective cloudification of IoT expected to be attained in 2020, Pauzet projects that approximately 50% of machines and devices in factories along with other industrial assets will be connected either on-premise or remote data collection system.” Ultimately, this will bridge IT and OT, allowing sign-ups for applications such as Software as a Services (SaaS).
Lack of effective IoT Security Solutions
The failure of IoT protects also attributed to the lack of effective security solutions to protect IoT applications from attack. According to Larry LeBlanc, Chief Security Engineer for Sierra Wireless, companies will increase the implementation of ‘defense-in-depth’ solutions using new security deployment and orchestration technologies in 2020.” With these technologies, organizations will not need to hire large in-house IoT security teams for the deployment and management of security solutions on all elements of the IoT application.
With all these aspects coming together in 2020, it is expected that the complexity of IoT projects will decrease leading to an increase in the number of successful IoT projects.