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10 IoT Trends for 2020/2021: Latest Predictions According To Experts

Category: B2B News

The Internet of Things (IoT) debuted as a much-hyped futuristic technology. It is now a reality that has become both a social and technological wonder. The latest IoT trends can attest to this fact. It is now used with data analytics software and artificial intelligence. These integrations help businesses improve processes, boost earnings and reduce overheads.

IoT has paved the way for smart technologies just about anywhere. Smart appliances, security systems, phones, and cars are now commonplace. With this collection of the most recent emerging trends in IoT currently available, we intend to get you up to speed with IoT developments. If you are into business, you might learn a thing or two on how to leverage these trends to grow your company.

key iot trends

IoT’s ability to enable devices and equipment to communicate will impact lives. It will impact industries. According to a report[1], IoT will find applications in areas like predictive maintenance, maintenance schedules, and data collection.

How big is the IoT market? IoT is fast becoming a critical disruptive technology. Businesses will see that IoT is not a hype but a useful tool. This will only result in mass adoption.

Source: Statista

But, IoT use cases will not stop at corporate doors. The technology has the potential to make any process free of human intervention. In this context, the term “IoT” will not sit for long. Another study[2] says a more catchy term will replace “IoT” in the next few years.

More use cases for IoT are being uncovered as we speak and it shows no sign of stopping. It is thus, not surprising for investments in IoT to increase in the coming years. You can confirm this by looking at the latest digital transformation statistics. More and more businesses are beginning to deploy IoT. And consumers have embraced the technology. Take a look at the following IoT trends that are happening now.

1. Focus on Security

The IoT tech market will see a renewed focus on security as complex safety challenges crop up. These complexities stem from the diverse and distributed nature of the technology. The network of connected devices remains vulnerable to attacks. So, how many devices are connected to the Internet 2019? The number of Internet-connected devices has breached the 26 billion mark. Device and IoT network hacking will become commonplace. It is up to network operators to stop intruders from doing their business.

Widely-accepted security concerns will help IoT providers improve sellability. This will be by highlighting the security measures they have in place. Those marketing end-to-end IoT solutions are most likely to enjoy this selling point. This early, informing users of such security concerns are paramount. Vendors and providers should make public what is being done about these issues. Learn more about security threats by reading the most recent cybersecurity statistics.

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Most common cyber attacks experienced by US companies

Most common cyber attacks experienced by US companies
Phishing: 37


Most common cyber attacks experienced by US companies
Network Intrusion: 30

Network Intrusion

Most common cyber attacks experienced by US companies
Inadvertent Disclosure: 12

Inadvertent Disclosure

Most common cyber attacks experienced by US companies
Stolen/lost device or records: 10

Stolen/lost device or records

Most common cyber attacks experienced by US companies
System Misconfiguration: 4

System Misconfiguration


Source: Statista 2018

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Key takeaways:

  • The market for IoT technology will focus on improved security.
  • The diverse and distributed nature of IoT is seen to cause security problems.
  • End-to-end IoT solution vendors will benefit from IoT security challenges.

2. IoT in Manufacturing

IoT uses sensors, which can help managers identify machinery problems early on. Problems are identified before technicians are sent out to work on issues. Sensors are very handy for people handling preventive maintenance. IoT has been finding applications in smart factories. The use of wearables gives workers a clear picture of factory conditions and safety.

IoT and wearables connect factory floors to management. Wearables can connect to mobile devices. This improves time management and safety and allows for feedback. Innovations in preventive maintenance are coming every day. They will not stop anytime soon—all thanks to IoT. This development is clear among the most recent industrial IoT trends.

Key takeaways:

  • IoT can help managers predict machinery problems.
  • IoT has found its way into smart factories.
  • Factory floors and managers can be connected using IoT and wearables.

3. Big Data, Analytics, and Machine Learning

Even now, distributed IoT analytics and data are finding applications in IoT networks. This method lets systems trigger alerts or action sans transferring volumes of data to network cores. This results in improved performance as networks operate at low latency. The integration of data streams with machine learning and AI engines is another trend. Potential applications include smart homes and elevator maintenance, to name a few. Find out more by reading the most current big data statistics.

Integrated analytics are now being embedded into solutions as providers seek to speed up data analysis. Such analytics are directly fed into machine learning apps. This design supports IoT devices, processes and infrastructure adaptation and optimization. IoT data will be sold as a commodity, which will be targeted mostly at appliance manufacturers. Selling IoT data will be used to prove product viability. Recent machine learning statistics reflect these developments.

How Business Leaders Leverage Big Data

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Source: iView Systems, 2016

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Key takeaways:

  • IoT analytics are increasingly being used in IoT networks.
  • Data streams are now being integrated with machine learning and AI.
  • Integrated analytics help IoT solution vendors speed up data analysis.

4. Healthcare Spearheads IoT Adoption

The healthcare industry has been tinkering with IoT technology for years now. Pundits see the sector leading in IoT adoption and innovation. Healthcare now uses wearable sensors and devices, tracking and indoor navigation tech. Like factories, healthcare facilities are enormous and state-of-the-art equipment. IoT’s ability to improve light and temperature control will improve these locations.

Lighting plays a key role in patient recovery. IoT can enhance lighting systems by linking them to health monitors and deploying sensors. IoT will make smart buildings out of healthcare facilities, drive revenue, and help healthcare providers save on costs.

Key takeaways:

  • The healthcare sector has been experimenting with IoT for years.
  • Health facilities can use IoT to control light and temperature.
  • IoT can help healthcare organizations boost revenue and save on costs.

5. Better Workforce Management

The use of beacons in clocking in is expected to become standard practice. Beacons are commonly used to send consumers targeted messages through smartphones. Cost reduction will result in the increased use of beacons in workforce management. Beacons can be used to monitor employees and schedule tasks. All the data from these systems can be used to populate performance management solutions.

Beacons can be used to monitor employee safety. This applies to cases where the right safety equipment should be worn. The healthcare sector can use beacons to monitor doctors and nurses’ activities. This covers accessing medical records and medical equipment use. IoT is one of the most significant disruptive technologies around.

Disruptive technologies that are changing consumer markets

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Source: 2018

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Key takeaways:

  • Beacons will be used in employee attendance keeping.
  • The cost reduction from using beacons will increase IoT use in workforce management.
  • Beacons can monitor worker safety.


Top Data Analytics Software

  1. IBM Analytics. A robust data analytics tool built to streamline business decision-making with evidence-based insights. This IBM Analytics review provides an in-depth product tour.
  2. Apache Hadoop. An open-source data analytics platform designed to help businesses process large data sets. For more information, read our Apache Hadoop review.
  3. Apache Spark. An open-source big data analytics platform that features a powerful analytics engine to support batch processing and large SQL and stream processing. Our Apache Spark review offers a detailed product tour.
  4. SAP Business Intelligent Platform: A powerful data analytics tool for businesses that want to derive valuable customer behavior insights and monitor other key metrics. For more information about this product, read our SAP Business Intelligent Platform review.
  5. Sisense. A powerful, yet easy to use data analytics software built with data science, as well as all business users, in mind. To find out more about this self-service analytics tool, read our Sisense review.

6. The Emergence of Smart Cities

IoT adoption will result in the establishment of smart cities. This early, some US cities are using IoT to connect utilities, parking meters, and traffic lights. Smart city projects are now in the pipeline, a development that could only spread globally. Proof of this the increase in smart city tech spending, which can reach $80 billion by 2050.

Smart cities do not only focus on making life comfortable for people. These cities improve the social, environmental and financial aspects of urban living. And as city populations grow, smart cities will become a key ingredient in improving sustainability and quality of living.

Emergence of Smart Cities

Key takeaways:

  • IoT adoption will pave the way for smart cities.
  • Smart city technology spending will reach $135 billion by 2021.
  • These cities will play a key role in improving the sustainability and quality of living.

7. Cloud Vendors to Zero In on IoT

Cloud-based software vendors will compete with IoT platform developers to become prime destinations for IoT. They will focus on finding new applications for the technology and leverage their integration capabilities. Partnerships between vendors and IoT providers will proliferate to expand use cases and improve existing ones. Google will most probably lead the pack in seeking such partnerships.

Key takeaways:

  • Cloud software vendors will compete with IoT platform developers.
  • The focus will be on integrations and new IoT applications.
  • Vendor and IoT provider partnerships will increase.

8. IoT in Customer Service

IoT can greatly improve customer service by providing needed information. The technology can improve the power of CRM systems. The premise rests on the technology’s ability to detect customer problems and inform companies about them. Potential applications focus on appliances. However, even cable services can benefit from IoT. IoT devices can report problems to customer desks without the customer even knowing about it.

IoT data can be routed to companies’ CRM systems. This allows companies to join customer discussions. This, in turn, can improve engagement which leads to customer retention. Customer service improvement is one of the notable consumer IoT trends. Today’s CRMs are known for their ability to play well with other systems as most of them come with APIs. These integrations will connect IoT technology to existing business systems.

Key takeaways:

  • IoT’s provision of data improves customer service.
  • IoT can detect customer problems and inform organizations about them.
  • IoT can enhance the power of CRMs.

9. Developers to Come Up with IoT Milestones

Contrary to what many of us see, it is not the technology titans who will take IoT to the next level. Small groups of tech contributors will foster IoT innovations in the long-run. These groups will include technicians, developers, and other like-minded individuals. These people will put more value on technology.

Technology tinkerers will ride the IoT wave, just like they did when the smartphone market first exploded. IoT platform development is inevitable. And it is these people who will spearhead the effort. Software developers will employ IoT data when creating new tools.

Key takeaways:

  • Small tech contributor groups will lead to IoT innovation.
  • IoT platform development will be a major focus.
  • IoT data will find applications in software development.

10. Powering Smart Stores

The use of radio frequency identification tags has been powering smart stores. RFID makes inventory management a lot easier and fun as opposed to the use of conventional data capture systems.

IoT can also record how visitors spend their time on the store premises. It does this by tracking their movement and product interactions with the help of smart lighting.

Using data collected by such systems, store owners can make the needed improvements to their inventory and even the way products are displayed on their shelves.

Powering Smart Stores

Key takeaways:

  • Smart stores have been using RFID technology.
  • RFID improves inventory management.
  • IoT can record visitor activity inside smart stores.

How Can These Trends Help Your Business?

IoT is starting to mature and will become a full-blown business technology in the next few years. This early, you should prepare to brace for IoT’s impact by figuring out how best to adopt the technology. The trends presented here can help you do just that. If you are an equipment manufacturer, it would do you good to identify ways by which you’re products can be made IoT-ready. For those in the retail sector, you can have your stores get ready to use IoT data.

The evolution of IoT has caught many off-guard. IoT applications increased, proving many pundits wrong. The manufacturing and healthcare sectors will use IoT to speed up their processes and improve operations. The latest IoT statistics will affirm this. You should get ready for IoT’s pending explosion. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a small outfit or manning a Fortune 500 company, IoT will find its way into your organization. Therefore, keep in mind that it’s better to be prepared than be left behind by the IoT train.



  1. ^The Internet Of Things: From Theory To Reality
  2. ^Predictions 2019: The Internet Of Things


Jenny Chang

By Jenny Chang

Senior writer at FinancesOnline who writes about a wide range of SaaS and B2B products, including trends and issues on e-commerce, accounting and customer service software. She’s also covered a wide range of topics in business, science, and technology for websites in the U.S., Australia and Singapore, keeping tabs on edge tech like 3D printed health monitoring tattoos and SpaceX’s exploration plans.

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