Prediction Four within our Supply Chain Matters 2015 Predictions for Industry and Global Supply Chains indicates that cross-industry interest levels and momentum surrounding B2B services leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to attract wide interest. However, the realities in overcoming very real data security concerns, the lack of consistent global-wide standards and scalability of networks will provide added challenges in 2015.

For a broader perspective regarding the breadth of these challenges, we call reader attention to a posting last week on EE Times, Pitfalls in the Internet of Things for 2015 and Beyond. The article states that while “50 billion IoT devices by 2020” is beginning to look not as crazy as it seemed at first” the author’s caution: “The IoT bubble could still burst, in not in 2015, than the next several years.” Within the posting, EE Times summarizes a polling of several tech companies and other analysts within the IoT universe.

Six noteworthy challenges are outlined:

  1. Stop dwelling on the “Internet”, but instead on the “Things”, namely the application layers that outline what devices are supposed to perform and behave.
  2. Never underestimate that privacy and data security matters. The authors cite in the B2C dimension, the recent setbacks associated with the Google Glass product along with ongoing concerns associated with wearable devices as important indicators of user and data privacy challenges needing to be addressed.  We would hasten to add that the recent massive data security hack that impacted Sony Entertainment will serve as another fresh reminder.
  3. IoT guns for too broad of a market spectrum that span B2C and B2B process dimensions. According to cited opinion, this will make it challenging for seeking a “one size fits all” MCU and chip technology providers to hone-in on the promising applications.
  4. Sensor hubs and sensor intellectual property algorithms are described as a minefield in terms of license rights. One expert “Flat out sees the race for sensor hubs as the “IP minefield”” leading to heightened merger and acquisition activity.
  5. Once connected security risks across the IoT spectrum are described as everywhere, and security has to be taken very seriously. The lessons of Target, Best Buy and now Sony are noted as indicators to software as being the significant weakness.
  6. The choice of multiple applicable wireless technologies fuels the requirement for multi-protocol, multi-band wireless MCU’s which the semiconductor industry has not been able to crack as yet. According to one cited expert: “The market needs a general-purpose multi-band, multi-protocol IoT SoC that can run multiple wireless protocols at low cost with very low power

 

If you are directly involved in the planning of IoT initiatives and programs, you may want to review the above article in detail to ascertain the current challenge areas related to bringing all of these technologies together.

Bob Ferrari