To date, the Internet of Things has matured enough to impact many areas of our technological and social life. But IoT continues to evolve, so the topic of the top Internet of Things trends is urgent for various businesses and service providers. This article covers the major IoT trends 2023. Read on to find out the details.
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In general, the connected devices market continues to grow. And this is despite the global semiconductor chip shortage and the fact that many businesses have failed due to the pandemic and the challenging geopolitical situation.
Let’s look briefly at the IoT market in figures.
- In 2022, there were over 13 billion active IoT-connected devices globally, which is a 16% growth from 2021, according to Statista.
- This number is forecast to grow to more than 29 billion IoT devices by 2030, including those with WPAN, WLAN, cellular, LPWA, 5G, and other types of connectivity.
- Currently, there are over 400 active Internet of Things platforms, with 10 leading IoT platforms controlling about 65% of the market.
- The global IoT market could reach $875 billion in 2025, showing a CAGR of 16.9%, as predicted by Market Data Forecast.
Internet of Things Technology Trends 2023
Now, let’s move on to the top IoT trends that will determine the industry’s development this year.
1. IoT Security
The increasing number of devices connected to the internet brings new vulnerabilities and exposures to companies and private users. If one machine in an IoT ecosystem is compromised, other devices are automatically at risk, since they are all connected.
Common IoT security issues include:
- data leaks and data breaches
- malware, ransomware, DDoS attacks
- software weaknesses due to poor development
- outdated software
- device mismanagement.
That’s why cybersecurity should be prioritized when developing and implementing IoT solutions in all industries.
The global IoT security spending is predicted to amount to $6.68 billion in 2023.
Following are some trends that will help businesses and users improve their Internet of Things cybersecurity this year.
- Cybersecurity software — more enterprises will invest in software solutions that protect IoT devices from cyberattacks. An example of such software is Quantum IoT Protect by Check Point, which discovers risks, assesses them, and prevents unauthorized access.
- Password management software — more digital businesses will leverage solutions that provide IoT credential management and eliminate threats connected with weak or default passwords. Credential hygiene is supported by periodically rotating passwords in the system and ensuring that they comply with security requirements.
- Network security tools — more companies will enhance their network security with the help of firewalls, identity, and access management (IAM) products, remote access VPN, and other tools.
- Government regulations — more countries will develop and enact laws and standards to regulate the production and usage of connected devices. IoT manufacturers and businesses will be obliged to comply with a range of security norms.
- Cybersecurity strategy — business leaders will pay greater attention to developing in-house cybersecurity strategies.
2. Digital Twins and the Metaverse in Enterprises
The technology of digital twins is quite young, but various enterprises with implemented IoT systems are already embracing it. In their essence, digital twins allow you to test a product, process, or business model based on collected data without risking real-world assets.
For example, using a digital twin of some manufacturing process in a plant, workers can create various optimization models, test hypotheses, and predict possible issues. All this happens in a simulated reality, while in the real world the plant employees will apply only the most suitable optimization model and avoid unnecessary expenses. Digital twins can also simulate hacker attacks on IoT systems so that security experts can improve their means of data protection.
The metaverse is an even younger concept, but it’s gaining traction and is built, among other technologies, on digital twins. We can say that the metaverse technology is an expanded digital twin of a real-world space where people can interact with each other. In the near future, it will be possible not only to have fun, but also to work, study, go shopping, and have a doctor appointment in the metaverse. In fact, it can become a comprehensive digital twin of the reality we live in.
3. IoT in Healthcare
The healthcare sector is experiencing considerable investments in digitalization, including IoT adoption. The Internet of Things has enormous potential to transform the entire industry as it allows for improved diagnostics and a personalized approach to treatment. No wonder an independent branch — the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) as part of the general digital health concept — has appeared.
Some IoT use cases that have become popular in hospitals around the world include:
- medical wearables
- patient data collection and analytics
- smart diagnostic tools
- robotic surgery machines
- monitoring systems to supervise patients and control storage conditions in laboratories.
Note: IoT advancements in healthcare and other industries are tightly coupled with machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and other advanced technologies.
The healthcare business model is also altered under the influence of IoT, bringing benefits both for patients and service providers:
- Reduced costs. Using IoT sensors, healthcare providers ensure continuous real-time monitoring for patients who require it. This way, they improve the quality of medical care and reduce its costs, because medical workers no longer need to regularly check patients’ vital signs.
- Improved disease control. When patients are under constant monitoring and caregivers have access to real-time data, it is possible to provide early diagnosis and preventive care. Combining this with constant monitoring of the therapy effectiveness, healthcare providers can help prevent serious complications.
- Remote consultations. For some population groups (e.g., those living in remote areas) it’s challenging to access medical institutions on time to get effective treatment. Such people can use IoT solutions paired with mobile applications to collect and communicate health data to doctors and receive consultation based on it.
- Patient engagement. IoT in healthcare is shifting the focus to patients and their needs. Patients can now control their health conditions independently, and contact a medical specialist only if needed. This creates a new relationship model between doctor and patient, in which the latter becomes a partner in preventing and treating diseases.
4. Edge IoT
The Internet of Things in many ways depends on cloud computing. Unfortunately, cloud services have significant drawbacks, such as low bandwidth and possible high latency, which may cause issues in real-time data processing. This is why numerous companies are currently investing in edge computing technology.
What is edge computing, and why is it currently among the top IoT technology trends?
With cloud computing, data collected from sensors and devices has to travel to the central cloud server to be processed and then sent back to the source of information. As a rule, it crosses over long distances and may cause delays.
With edge computing, information gathered by a device is not sent to the cloud, but can be processed directly on that device. This has become possible due to the increased computing capabilities of modern devices.
- Edge computing is decentralized: data collected on devices (on the edge) is not sent to the central server, but is processed on these same devices. Such an approach provides higher speed, significant bandwidth savings, and can ensure better privacy compliance.
- Edge computing has much in common with fog computing — another decentralized approach to data processing. The difference is that in fog computing, data is shifted from sensors and devices to fog nodes and processors. These are closer to end users than cloud servers, e.g., IoT gateways or LAN networks.
Improved accuracy and speed of data transfer provided by edge computing are crucial for IoT solutions, and that’s why more companies are turning to this technology.
5. Governance and Regulation in the IoT Space
Internet of Things security has been under discussion for more than ten years. However, one of the first laws aimed at protecting IoT gadgets was adopted only in 2018 in California. The document obliged manufacturers of smart devices to generate unique login and password combinations for them.
Since then, IoT security regulation has been talked about at higher levels in different countries. In 2023, the development of laws and standards concerning the security of connected devices is a mainstream trend worldwide.
- The European Union is working on the Cyber Resilience Act and certification norms. This is a set of standards that all smart devices sold in the EU must comply with. The rules will affect the entire IoT production cycle. Developers will have to report all discovered vulnerabilities to the regulator, as well as provide security updates for five years.
- In December 2022, the UK government passed its regulatory document — Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure (PSTI) Bill. It prohibits developers of smart gadgets from setting uniform passwords and obliges them to inform consumers about how often and for how long device security updates will be released. The regulator will monitor compliance with the requirements, and will have the right to issue fines of up to 4% of the company’s annual turnover.
- China considers IoT as a strategic emerging industry and an enormous power for business growth. At the same time, they are highly concerned about the growing security risks and tightening regulations, which complicates the life of IoT providers in the country.
The ever-expanding IoT technology is adding to the workload of lawmakers, and 2023 is going to be a year of arduous work for them.
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We’ve compiled five trends shaping the Internet of Things business landscape. They prove that this is a flourishing period for the technology, and its growth is not slowing down. But there are many more essential trends affecting the industry.
For example, big data analytics is also among the top trends in IoT as it provides the needed value to businesses. Connected devices generate tons of complex raw information, but without proper analysis, it is useless. AI-driven analytical solutions have the power to aggregate these enormous amounts of data, refine it in real-time and draw practical insights.