The future of enterprise IoT: 2 factors to watch

Some companies have learned from multiple generations of IoT projects, and are ready to take advantage of the next big leaps ahead.
Written by Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief

Only 26 percent of companies have had an Internet of Things project that they consider a success, according to research from Cisco. And, 60 percent of IoT projects currently die before even leaving the proof of concept stage.

ZDNet and TechRepublic have been covering the IoT movement extensively since 2012, and we're now seeing enterprises that have learned from several generations of IoT projects.

As we look to the future, there are two big factors to watch as IoT prepares to explode to over 80 billion endpoints by 2025, according to IDC.

They are:

1. 5G

One of the biggest problems with IoT today is that the devices could overwhelm existing 3G, 4G and LTE networks as they scale. That's why low-power wide area networks like Sigfox have been popping up.

However, 5G will offer an even more powerful and versatile answer to the problem. Without getting into the technicals, know that 5G will be well suited to low-power, low data rate devices in huge numbers, while also being able to handle occasional spikes for high bandwidth pulses of data. This will enable IoT to have a virtually infinite number of things with embedded connectivity.

2. Machine learning

IoT can create an unfathomable amount of data. GE has reported that one jet engine creates a terabyte of data in just five hours. And since a lot of IoT data can be unstructured, machine learning is often needed to help sort, cleanse, and process the flood of information flowing from all these sensors. So, a winning IoT strategy for the future will have to include a strong machine learning component. That will also be critical for the next big stage of IoT, which will be centered around automation.

Special report

To learn more about the future of this important topic, read our special report "Sensor'd Enterprise: IoT, ML, and big data." You can read all of the articles on ZDNet or you can download them in one PDF on TechRepublic, available for free to registered users.

Internet of Things illustration


The Monday Morning Opener is our opening salvo for the week in tech. Since we run a global site, this editorial publishes on Monday at 8:00am AEST in Sydney, Australia, which is 6:00pm Eastern Time on Sunday in the US. It is written by a member of ZDNet's global editorial board, which is comprised of our lead editors across Asia, Australia, Europe, and the US.


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