Top 3 Internet of Things (IoT) Trends in 2021
Top 3 Internet of Things (IoT) Trends in 2021 Key Takeaways:
- While the peculiarities of 2020 exposed a multitude of vulnerabilities, this has provided businesses with valuable with insight into how they can build more robust solutions, supply chains, and business models.
- The Internet of Things (IoT), for instance, can help organizations streamline systems and operations and fortify both internal and external communications.
- For 2021 and beyond, IoT-curious observers should keep an eye on healthcare, remote work, and smart cities.
How 2020 Impacted the Internet of Things (IoT)
There was seemingly no end to the peculiarities of 2020. Of course, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic dominated global headlines; but a cluster of bizarre stories like Nokia’s extraterrestrial deal with NASA, the discovery of “murder hornets” in the United States, and the dissemination of mystery seeds from China only added to the day-to-day chiaroscuro that made life feel like a Netflix Original Series. Unsettling times, to put it mildly.
Nevertheless, from this roiling uncertainty there emerged some clarity. By becoming intimately aware of our vulnerabilities, we have been gifted with insight into how we can build more robust solutions, supply chains, business models, and — forgive the affectation — societies. We can, as Hemingway so eloquently put it, become stronger at the broken places.
Take the Internet of Things (IoT), for instance. With the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated smart devices, beacons, meters, and appliances businesses, governments, and other organizations can streamline their supply chains, economize operations, and improve both employee communications and customer outreach.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss three IoT trends for 2021 and beyond. While these trends certainly pre-exist COVID-19, they have only accelerated over the past year and figure to play a much larger role in the future of an industry that’s on pace to reach $1.6 trillion in market revenue by 2025. So, with that, let’s begin!
Three IoT Trends to Watch in 2021
1. Healthcare and the Internet of Things (IoT)
If there’s one lesson to be learned from 2020, it’s this. Healthcare systems can never be too efficient. The ability to distribute finite resources within facilities and across systems is quite literally a matter of life and death. So is the ability to share timely clinical care guidelines with health professionals and patients. Indeed, by fortifying the industry’s capacity to do provide top-notch services, IoT has become a powerful ally in the battle against the novel coronavirus. What’s more, it’s also becoming an essential delivery mechanism for healthcare more broadly.
As Bernard Marr at Forbes notes, IoT-powered solutions, like telemedicine and automated home help for the elderly and disabled, are changing the way healthcare is administered. Such technologies, Marr points out, minimize unnecessary contact in situations where the risk of viral contamination is particularly high. Consequently, while pre-pandemic estimates for virtual doctors’ visits were pegged to be at 36 million in the United States in 2020, the actual number ended up being closer to one billion.
Additionally, as we noted in a post at the tail-end of last year, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have begun investing in the development of IoT-enabled products and services. For instance, by installing Bluetooth tags in things like hospital beds, wheelchairs, and defibrillators, manufacturers open the door to the development of value-added applications that enable hospital managers to keep track of critical resources.
2. Remote Work and the Internet of Things (IoT)
As global lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders were grinding the world to a halt, companies all over the planet turned to remote work to keep their employees safe and their businesses productive.
Now, it’s quite likely the arrival of coronavirus advanced the cause of the “Remote Work Revolution” — it might even prove to be the “shot heard round the world.” But if it’s a revolution you’re looking for, then it comes courtesy of technological innovation, not the workforce’s desire to take meetings from the kitchen table.
Indeed, the rise of remote work is inextricably tied to concurrent trends in the IoT space. For instance, bring your own device (BYOD) policies have made employees less reliant on corporate devices, and increasingly affordable data plans mean workers can leverage more devices without breaking the bank. Then there’s the development of business communications platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, which enable immediate, face-to-face interaction between colleagues across numerous devices.
Nevertheless, the pandemic did function as something of a trial run for remote work; and while it’s unlikely to be as ubiquitous in 2021 as it was in 2020, it’s safe to say the workplace as we knew it has been decisively disrupted. As such, shrewd businesses will be looking for tools and solutions that enable them to navigate an increasingly decentralized work environment.
3. Smart Cities and the Internet of Things (IoT)
Last, but certainly not least, Smart City transformations will continue apace. Cities all over the world are looking for ways to leverage IoT to create efficiencies, improve sustainability, and foster economic development. By deploying IoT sensors, connected devices, and IoT management solutions, city leaders will be able to launch sophisticated initiatives that generate revenue, improve operational efficiencies, and reduce external costs associated with poor community safety. For instance, they can deploy:
a. Connected LCD displays that serve up advertisements, traffic announcements, weather warnings, security notices, amber alerts, and other useful information.
b. Smart streetlights that immediately tell city managers when they’ve malfunctioned.
c. Smart parking meters that make it easy to pay for parking and enable remote top-ups for optimum convenience.
Pareteum is an experienced provider of Communications Platform as a Service solutions. We empower enterprises, communications service providers, internet service providers, mobile operators, early-stage innovators, developers, IoT, and telecommunications infrastructure providers with the freedom and control to create, deliver, and scale innovative communications experiences.
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