Editor’s note: Technology Business Research analysts predict what will be the next stage for Internet of Things deployment in 2018. The first in the IoT predictions series was published Tuesday.

HAMPTON, N.H. – It’s not the beginning of the end for IoT, but the end of the beginning. Vendors and end customers are figuring out what they want from IoT, but immaturity will hold back the market as the supporting technologies still lack interoperability and ease of deployment features. We’re settling in for a
maturation of vendors and their offerings as well as customers’ ability to consume and leverage IoT/connected operations and connected business solutions.

So far, we’ve just been exploring the potential.

Information Technology organizations will act as helmsmen

Trend: IT will bless IoT, making adoption of the technology smoother and more commonplace and cementing small IoT projects as the steppingstones to achieving business goals through IT modernization and digital transformation efforts.

Driver: Companies are experiencing IoT sprawl and shadow IoT. In response, IT organizations will seek to control, not foster, these IoT projects. They will set standards; settle on key products, services and vendors; and establish their roles as the internal service providers for IoT projects throughout the enterprise.

Result: Cumulatively, lots of little IoT projects, along with other transformative technologies, will drive incremental transformation for customers. Small IoT projects will become door openers for IoT vendors. Vendors will benefit by making slow, steady inroads into corporate IT modernization and business transformation efforts.

The IoT ecosystem is real, and vendors will fall into their places. Some vendors will focus on industrial IoT, while others will target horizontal elements of the IoT stack, such as cloud-to-edge platforms and business consulting or implementation services, making sure they can deliver the full spectrum of capabilities needed by businesses and employees. Customers will become smarter about what they need and more savvy about acquiring it. Vendors that are more realistic about leading customers to investing in step-by-step rollouts will win.