Gartner’s 10 IoT Technologies Partners Must Track

The Internet of Things isn’t just a conversation about sensors, devices and data collection. Gartner has unveiled a top 10 IoT technology list that customers need to focus on for 2017 and 2018. ChannelE2E weighs in with its spin on each of the technology areas.

1. IoT Security

Gartner says: The IoT introduces a wide range of new security risks and challenges to the IoT devices themselves, their platforms and operating systems, their communications, and even the systems to which they’re connected. Security technologies will be required to protect IoT devices and platforms from both information attacks and physical tampering, to encrypt their communications, and to address new challenges such as impersonating “things” or denial-of-sleep attacks that drain batteries. IoT security will be complicated by the fact that many “things” use simple processors and operating systems that may not support sophisticated security approaches.

ChannelE2E says: IoT security was a major theme at Cisco Partner Summit this week in San Diego. In fact, Channel Chief Wendy Bahr said security is the number one market opportunity for partners in 2016 and beyond. Meanwhile, LogicNow — the MSP-friendly software company — recently acquired a risk assessment security company. Over time, in theory, MSPs will be able to examine customer networks and IoT edge devices to quantify the financial risks associated with poor security.

2. IoT Analytics

Gartner Says: IoT business models will exploit the information collected by “things” in many ways — for example, to understand customer behavior, to deliver services, to improve products, and to identify and intercept business moments. However, IoT demands new analytic approaches. New analytic tools and algorithms are needed now, but as data volumes increase through 2021, the needs of the IoT may diverge further from traditional analytics.

ChannelE2E Says: Many IoT analytics systems are already in place, and partners don’t even realize it. For instance, OpenDNS essentially leverages IoT analytics and big data learning in the background to help partners proactively address and mitigate security issues. Similarly, Webroot is built on a big data system that improves overall IT security.

3. IoT Device (Thing) Management

Gartner Says: Long-lived nontrivial “things” will require management and monitoring. This includes device monitoring, firmware and software updates, diagnostics, crash analysis and reporting, physical management, and security management. The IoT also brings new problems of scale to the management task. Tools must be capable of managing and monitoring thousands and perhaps even millions of devices.

ChannelE2E Says: Generally speaking, RMM (remote monitoring and management) software vendors remain heavily focused on traditional endpoints (servers, desktops, notebooks) rather than IoT monitoring. Most of the current RMM priorities involve a shift to monitoring cloud workloads, but watch for IoT monitoring to become more central for RMM players in 2017 or so.

4. Low-Power, Short-Range IoT Networks

Gartner Says: Selecting a wireless network for an IoT device involves balancing many conflicting requirements, such as range, battery life, bandwidth, density, endpoint cost and operational cost. Low-power, short-range networks will dominate wireless IoT connectivity through 2025, far outnumbering connections using wide-area IoT networks. However, commercial and technical trade-offs mean that many solutions will coexist, with no single dominant winner and clusters emerging around certain technologies, applications and vendor ecosystems.

ChannelE2E Says: Pay attention to edge-type network devices that have built-in intelligence. Those devices will decide which sensor data to keep, delete and ship back to corporate data centers, data warehouses and data lakes.

5. Low-Power, Wide-Area Networks

Gartner Says: Traditional cellular networks don’t deliver a good combination of technical features and operational cost for those IoT applications that need wide-area coverage combined with relatively low bandwidth, good battery life, low hardware and operating cost, and high connection density. The long-term goal of a wide-area IoT network is to deliver data rates from hundreds of bits per second (bps) to tens of kilobits per second (kbps) with nationwide coverage, a battery life of up to 10 years, an endpoint hardware cost of around $5, and support for hundreds of thousands of devices connected to a base station or its equivalent. The first low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) were based on proprietary technologies, but in the long term emerging standards such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) will likely dominate this space.

ChannelE2E Says: Here, it could be particularly important for channel partners to work with large service providers, telecos and other Quality of Service (QoS) experts that master low-power WAN connections.

Please continue to page two for items 6 through 10.

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