IoT Trends And Insights That Can Guide Your Business Decisions: 2020 Editionby@dana-kozubska
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IoT Trends And Insights That Can Guide Your Business Decisions: 2020 Edition

by Nazar January 11th, 2020
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The global number of IoT devices is predicted to grow from 30.7 to 35.8 billion in a single year (2020-2021) Both industrial and consumer niches get transformed by diverse IoT applications. The key risk area will be the nation-level attacks in 2020, says Gartner. IoT security will become a priority in most cases, with hackers finding new weak points to target. Surgical robotics and wearables remain top applications of IoT in medicine. IoT combined with AI will bring new value to businesses, says Oliver Schabenberger.

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Internet of Things is literally changing our world. The global number of IoT devices is predicted to grow from 30.7 to 35.8 billion in a single year (2020-2021). Both industrial and consumer niches get transformed by diverse IoT applications.

What does it mean for enterprises and rising startups? If not using IoT, they are missing out on huge opportunities. To simplify your decision-making, we prepared relevant insights, statistics and IoT trends that will rule the year 2020. You can use them to set proper priorities and develop a profitable IoT device or system.

IoT trends 2020: what should you know?

1.IoT security will become a priority in most cases

Major security experts agree that companies need to adapt fast to the changing nature of security risks. As more data access points are added to IoT systems, hackers find new weak points to target. In 2020, the key risk area will be the nation-level attacks. Meanwhile, stealing credentials and phishing remain the easiest ways to access data, thus companies should stay alerted. One way of modernizing security tactics is using AI to automate threat response processes. This will also cut the work for security teams which we see the lack of.

With a growing cybersecurity risk, developers of IoT devices and systems need to put an emphasis on it from the very beginning. Best security practices need to be integrated into IoT development, after-release maintenance and overall business strategy to prevent risk and potential data breaches.

Since many struggles to find a security talent, they will form partnerships and look for managed security services outside their company. . Growing usage of IoT devices in healthcare Growing usage of IoT devices in healthcare.

2. Growing usage of IoT devices in healthcare

IoT devices in healthcare are going to expand even further. Gartner predicts its growth by 29 percent in 2020. On the chart below, you can see a visual representation of it.

The two key reasons behind wide IoT adoption in healthcare are: 

  • Reduced costs – Goldman Sachs states that Internet of Medical Things can save 300$ billion to US healthcare niche. 2/3 of this sum could go to the chronic disease management. Since IoT devices enable remote monitoring and treatment, they cut the need for expensive hospital stays and physical visits.
  • I mproved patient care. Imagine being informed about the upcoming heart incident of your patient as his pulse is raising. This might have crucial importance for proactive and preventive healthcare service. In 2020, IoT sensors will be used to monitor patient’s health, manage various-types of data and automate processes such as submission processing and approval. Surgical robotics and wearables remain top applications of IoT in medicine.

3. IoT combined with AI will bring new value to businesses

Data from IoT devices brings the most value if it’s analysed instantly and acted on fast – believes Eric Hui, the director of IoT business development at Asia-Pacific. The earlier you act, the better. 

In 2020, businesses will put efforts in real-time data processing rather than collecting it for later. As artificial intelligence algorithms are getting more sophisticated, they will find new interesting applications in IoT systems to automate decisions and enable instant planning. 

In 2020, these two will work together more often to resolve critical business issues.

Take, for example, construction companies. Wearables connected to a central monitoring center can track exact worker’s location, motion and surrounding environmental factors in real time. By sending automated alerts to employees, they can prevent stuck-by injuries and other accidents. 

Alternatively, construction agency uses IoT & AI system to reduce project schedule delays and prevent cost overruns. Knowing that a trade worker is late, the IoT system prevents other crews from waiting and speeds up an overall work process. Other benefits of IoT and AI are presented on the infographics below. 

As we can see, combining IoT and AI makes businesses more competitive than IoT-only enterprises in terms of employee productivity, operating costs and innovation.

“Organizations working with IoT data realize that if they want to get real value out of the data, they need AI and analytics,” says Oliver Schabenberger, COO, SAS. 

4. Edge computing takes over the cloud 

Unlike centralized cloud computing, edge computing refers to data processing activities performed near or at the data source. The edge endpoints might include laptops, smartphones or IoT sensors with limited storage & power. With no need to transfer entire datasets to the network center(cloud), companies get significant wins: 

Speed up system response time (while cloud transfer is limited by the speed of light)Prevent traffic overloadsReduce cybersecurity risksEnable up-to-date data analysis.

As data is created in more locations than ever before, we need fast & secure methods to process it. 

Once sorted and calculated at the edge, this data will enable immediate business reactions and planning. Self-driving cars need this to respond immediately to the changing data, no matter what the weather is like or how good your Internet connection is. 

In 2020, we are likely to see more of distributed and hybrid models. Since cloud has greater storage and computing capabilities, we’ll continue to use it while combining with edge devices. Take smart fitness watches as an example: the data is processed at the edge but stored and analyzed at the cloud. Also, IoT devices that are not latency specific will continue to use the cheapest processing options.

In fact, Microsoft is already creating an ecosystem of certified hardware and software for the edge. It will certify core edge functionalities and include pre-built edge modules to speed up edge device development.

5. IoT development for smart cities

Smart city spending is predicted to reach $80 billion by 2050. In the next couple of years, IoT on municipal level will aim at solving some high-priority city issues like traffic jams, security problems and others. According to SmartCities World, some already adopted 5 focus areas are: micro-mobility, urban modelling, resilience; circularity; smart urban spaces. As the city population grows, we’ll focus on improving traffic management, reducing pollution and freeing the road from congestion. 

Overall, technology investments on the city level continue to grow. As 5G will simplify the real-time data transfer, IoT development for cities will become even more common. 

6. Smart home devices will grow even more popular

Besides simplifying our daily routines, smart home devices let us reduce bill payments and save energy. That’s why smart thermostats, lighting systems and environmental IoT sensors will become even more popular this year. 

In 2020, IoT devices with voice control will grow in demand and adoption. For instance, Smart Thermostat by Ecobeee automatically adjusts the temperature in predefined hours while also letting you do manual changes with voice command. 

Consumers prefer smart devices that understand the context and adapt to various situations. For instance, a connected monitor that pauses a movie when someone leaves a room and continues as he returns. 

Meanwhile, we will also see the shift to multimodal design when voice, display and touch are of equal importance. In consumer IoT, we are heading towards diversified user experience where every sense matters. This might change how we design smart home gadgets and what will be in-demand among users.


Internet of Things hasn’t been adopted to its full potential yet. Although it’s getting an increasing hype and word-of-mouth, we are yet to see its greatest applications across industries.