OSIsoft on 2020: 3D goes 4D, a sharper edge, AI gets knocked down – 10 IoT predictions
Michael Kanellos, IoT analyst, OSIsoft:
1. IoT declares victory
“IoT projects are often portrayed as the quickest way to get yourself fired with, allegedly, ‘close to three fourths’ of IoT projects failing. In reality, success is the norm.
“Gartner’s Eric Goodness conducted a poll that 57 per cent are achieving outcomes better-than-anticipated, with only three per cent not meeting outcomes. Ian Hughes at 451 Research says around eight per cent have achieved negative ROI.
“Either way, we’re talking single digits. Why the turnaround? Better technology for one, but also companies are scoping their projects more appropriately. Rather than trying to ‘boil the ocean’, they are knocking off discrete goals like reducing maintenance.”
2. The pay-per-view business model arrives
“Some large industrial customers track millions of data streams. Even a single wind turbine can generate over 93,000 signals a day. Traditional ‘by-the-gigabyte’ cloud models thus don’t work.
“Arm has launched a program that lets designers experiment with the entire portfolio of their technology but only obligates them to pay for IP used in a final design. Likewise, some software companies have unleased programs where customers can store large amounts of data in the cloud, but only pay for what the use.”
3. 3D models get replaced by 4D models
“A four dimensional model is a 3D simulation cross-referenced with time. A 4D model of your own life would start at birth and trail, messy parts and all, all the way to the grave.
“Digital twins will be essentially the first commercially widespread 4D models. Software from companies like KBC, Hexagon and Element essentially permit you to recreate the lifetime of an offshore oil platform or other complex asset and even extrapolate upon alternative futures.
“By 2023, everyone will working in the fourth dimension.”
4. Edge gets sharper
“Edge computing has gone from being an obscure way station for cloud data to the next great computing platform. Why? It’s too costly and time consuming to send everything to the cloud.
“Keeping data on edge devices and facilities can also ameliorate some privacy concerns. Why wonder if AWS eliminated your private data as requested when you can just take a hammer to your Alexa? IDC and Gartner say that between 40 and 75 per cent of data may exist outside of cloud data centers.
“The big issue for 2020 will be ‘what the edge looks like?’ Will microdata centers that serve city blocks become common? Are we going to see ‘edge clouds’? Will some tasks – predictive maintenance – become classic edge applications?
“Will latency or cost be more important in figuring out where to locate tasks? Four years from now the answer will seem obvious. In 2020, however, the debate will be just be beginning.”
Digital transformation is forcing companies to look inward and assess their strengths. And, often, they like what they see. Air Liquide, the gas giant in France, has spun up a subsidiary called Alizent that sells IoT solutions. Thirty-five per cent of its revenue comes from third parties.
“Saudi Aramco is preparing a digital management platform for hydrocarbon processing called iMOM, likewise based on its own technology. German utility giant Uniper two years ago at a conference said they were looking at ways to monetize their analytics: this year they spun off Enerlytics for IoT services.
“TEPCO and KEPCO are similarly selling their know-how instead of just offering it to an audience of one. IDC adds that by 2024, two-thirds of enterprises will be prolific software providers.”
6. AI gets knocked down a notch
“The new paradigm will be ‘AI exists for decision support.’ Put another way, AI applications will sift data and provide individuals with a choice of options for a course of action.
“The decision support role fits better with the state of the technology – AI is extremely valuable but it’s still not as just as human judgment on many key problems. Giving AI a supporting role also makes people more comfortable with integrating the technology into their lives.”
7. More stick, less carrot
“The International Maritime Organization has mandated that ships reduce the sulfur content in their fuel from 3.5 per cent today to 0.5 per cent next year. The shift to more expensive fuels means more costs. The average tanker ship can consume 250 tons of bunker fuel a day, my colleague Matt Miller tells me. And fuel can represent 30 to 50 per cent of their operating expenses.
“To survive, many will turn to IoT to boost mileage.
“Onshore refiners, meanwhile, will shift to flexible processing strategies partly enabled by analytics and IoT: by micro-monitoring processes, refiners can more easily change feedstocks.
“Power and water utilities are also under more scrutiny. In the US, the Food Safety Modernization Act is prompting IoT investments. Anyway you look at it, compliance regulations are forcing upgrades. The added bonus: once these systems are in, they can be employed for energy efficiency or other IoT applications.”
8. Micro-segmentation will enter your vocab
“Break-ins are inevitable. A new wave of research will concentrate on limiting where hackers can go once inside. In a semi-related trend, data diodes, which effectively allow data from machinery to be delivered to IT networks but prevent outside data from reaching machinery, will maybe become more widespread.”
9. The wireless war of words
“5G. Sigfox. LoRa. All will be needed. How and where is the question. Class, discuss.?
10. Data sharing takes shape
“We’re now seeing what ‘data is the new oil’ really means. Insurance companies are mining it to improve risk calculations. Banks are looking at ways of mining the flow of goods to improve their models.
“Google wants to work with health care companies. The bottom line: people will realize their data is valuable. The question now is whether, one, they give it away, or, two, they give it to noble causes like cancer research and sell it to others.
“The emergence of how to form rules and conventions for marketplaces will begin.”