By 2025, IoT is expected to reach a staggering 75 billion devices. As a technology that is impacting every conceivable industry, one can expect numerous IoT investments and adoptions by major enterprises. But there may also be potential data breaches as well as security issues. In 2018, IoT is expected to have a steady growth, but here are five significant trends to look out for:

Rising Adoption of IoT Devices

According to the Business Insider, enterprise spending on IoT solutions will reach $6 trillion by 2021. Several enterprises are cashing in on this to increase customer engagement and improve efficiency of operations.

  • Retail enterprises aim to enhance customer experience.
  • Healthcare and supply sectors use it to connect with patients via wearable devices, and track inventory.
  • Home security industry is providing smart home devices which would offer the advantages of home automation comfort along with home security and energy saving capabilities.

Now is when enterprises across industries start building out their IoT strategy to reach an advantageous position much before their competitors.

Adopting IoT in Retail

Forrester Research predicts that IoT will become the backbone of consumer value as it continues to grow. This year, the IoT may see a widespread adoption in the retail sector for connecting with customers, growing their brands, and improving the customer experience.

Many tech-savvy companies are eager to invest in sensors-based analytics driven by IoT as it provides them numerous data points to market their products more effectively to prospective customers. They are open to using innovative and exciting ways of tracking their inventory, managing losses from theft, and reaching out to their customers.

The boom in embedded-sensor driven retail shopping has the capability to single handedly change the way customers find and buy their favorite products.

IoT Advancements in Healthcare

According to data from Frost and Sullivan, the internet of medical things is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 26.2% and reach $72 billion by 2021. It is one of the most important areas for application of IoT.

As the healthcare providers and the patients become increasingly tech-savvy, it paves the way for following adoptions in 2018:

  • Sensors, wearable tech, medical equipment, and health monitors will all interact to improve patient care
  • Big-data driven solutions will change how people access and pay for their healthcare services
  • Mobile health applications and virtual assistants can monitor health and smart cars can monitor patient vitals in transit.

Security Challenges to the New Network

The expanding network and huge volumes of data will put vital information like health of patients and safety of homes at risk. The challenges of new network security will push data security personnel to work harder.

Security features such as layered machine-to-machine authentication, biometric logins and use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and big data techniques may prevent security breaches and help disable vulnerabilities of global internet-infrastructure systems.

Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report April 2017 identified that weak passwords was the main reason behind IoT malware. Since most IoT device manufacturers didn’t give customers an option to change the default password, it led to the highest number of attacks. But 2018 would witness both manufacturers and consumers getting more aware about their IoT security.

Greater Access to Capital

According to a Forrester survey, 19% of respondents were using IoT and 28% of them planned to adopt it in near future. The increase in the usage of IoT has encouraged the investors in utilities, transportation, manufacturing and mining industries to invest and indulge in IoT’s expansion. The year 2018 will see IoT-based ventures have a greater access to startup capital and will be taken more seriously in the market.

These are some of the trends which would be dominating the IoT ecosystem for the coming years. The hospitality industry is already deploying major IoT solutions for travel, and other industries are fast following suit. The great advancements will definitely push the boundaries of IoT, making it more friendly and intuitive. As enterprises work harder on reducing the challenges of network security, IoT sure has a promising future.