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Five IoT predictions for 2016

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been discussed for many years, but it still seems to be falling short of its potential. It seems that this year, the promise of software sitting inside a wider variety of devices is set to open up new revenue streams. Device manufacturers are set to aggressively adopt new business models that can monetize the software powering their intelligent devices. The true value of connectivity will soon come to fruition.

Writing for Information Age, Ben Rossi discusses the five predictions for the IoT in 2016.

1. Intelligent device manufacturers will increasingly realize the need to become software-centric companies

The value of physical devices will increasingly rely on the software inside them. Manufacturers will need to act more like software companies to maximize their profits. Moreover, this software-centric approach will mean a move from fixed-function, disconnected devices to flexible, seamlessly connected systems.

2. Manufacturers will start realizing the financial gains from IoT

In the last-generation of devices, options for monetizing were relatively limited. Now, and more so in the future, manufacturers will pursue new business models aimed at maximizing gains from their software.

3. Everything as a service

IoT manufacturers will start to seek ways to further develop their relationships with customers. A key goal of this will be providing ongoing solutions tailored to evolving customer needs. Services will start to be a critical element to selling solutions. This gives the organization the opportunity to monetize a feature or provide it at no cost.

4. IoT hacking will make more headlines

As instances of device-hacking continue to increase, manufacturers will need to make their security more of a priority—both to prevent the initial hacking and to mediate any problems that may occur as a result. Measures such as tamper-resistant licensing code, monitoring and tracking patch levels and ensuring firmware patches are sent to entitled customers using secure download links will become much more common.

5. An increase in IoT devices will fuel the third industrial revolution

The introduction of embedded software and app-driven hardware will usher in a third industrial revolution. The ability, through software licensing, to monetize the device's functions and features that are newly available will be essential to capturing new revenue streams. Connecting these devices to the Internet is accelerating this revolution by enabling services, solutions and big data offerings around every day industrial and consumer goods.