Looking Back: ClearBlade CEO Reviews 2023 IoT & Edge Predictions

January 26, 2024

In this blog post, ClearBlade CEO Eric Simone reflects on his 2023 predictions for IoT and Edge in 2023. Read on to learn what predictions were on point and which missed the mark to get a jump on what to expect in 2024. Curious about what Eric predicts for 2024 in IoT, Edge, AI & Digital Twins? His 2024 predictions are out now!

1. Cloud IoT services fail to deliver

Companies will continue to struggle to cobble together IoT solutions based on simplistic, disparate cloud services. The IoT services available by the major cloud providers are not engineered to scale efficiently. The cloud’s expertise is in hyperscaling compute workloads and analyzing data, not in core IoT capabilities. Google was smart to hand those services over to companies specializing in IoT software.

Bottom line: The companies following the same flawed decade-old IoT playbook will continue to struggle.

2024 look back: Correct. Companies have continued to struggle with IoT solutions and are now looking to buy and integrate at a higher level with IoT software companies.

2. IoT Enterprise foundation success

More companies will succeed at scale by leveraging an IoT Enterprise foundation for both cloud and edge. Frustrated by years of failure and millions of dollars spent with little to no return, these companies will find a better way. Software exists that has the flexibility to run any cloud and at the edge. This software is proven, consistent, and cost-effective at scale.

Bottom line: The companies that adopt this IoT and edge strategy will be light years ahead of their competition.

2024 look back: Correct. Companies are achieving faster results leveraging IoT foundational software and the cloud providers are embracing IoT foundational software companies.

3. Major cloud will deprecate its IoT Core

Another major cloud provider will announce the deprecation of its IoT Core service to place more emphasis on data analytics and AI. This will allow proven IoT software companies to fill the gap providing a win/win for the cloud provider and their customers. Following Google’s lead, this strategic move will enable more efficient IoT scaling to benefit the entire IoT community.

Bottom line: The remaining cloud provider will continue to be a powerhouse in IoT, resulting in a natural build versus buy split in the market allowing companies to decide which approach is best for them.

2024 look back: Correct. The other major cloud providers are adopting a similar strategy to Google by moving away from their core components and to a partner-led model.

4. Bespoke IoT platforms disappear 

Bespoke IoT platforms built by systems integrators on cloud services will continue to disappear at a rapid pace. Many companies have abandoned their IoT platforms based on the same flawed cloud architectures. This trend will accelerate, especially as uncertainty grows around the long-term viability of the cloud provider IoT offerings.

Bottom line: Any company relying on these bespoke platforms should re-evaluate their IoT architectures now.

2024 look back: Correct. Bespoke platforms continue to disappear rapidly, leaving the remaining clouds and foundational IoT software companies as the best options for companies to realize IoT success.

5. No-code IoT takes off

More operators, frustrated with the failed promises from their IT departments, will deliver results via a no-code approach to IoT. This approach is already gaining traction in transportation, energy, and water infrastructure. In addition, departments that want to monitor equipment remotely can do so easily by choosing no-code software and deploying it on their preferred edge gateways in the field.

Bottom line: This departmental, self-service approach will gain momentum as the business ROI is immediate and impactful.

2024 look back: Correct. No code IoT and digital twin software offerings are gaining traction, enabling operators to deliver remote tracking and monitoring services without IT.

6. Edge foundations emerge

Bespoke edge point solutions will give way to consistent, reliable edge foundations configurable to perform multiple tasks. The days of expensive, inflexible point solutions married to specific hardware are beginning to see serious competition from edge foundation software that is easily configurable to perform many tasks. We are seeing this in energy and transportation now.

Bottom line: Customers choosing this approach are gaining buying leverage, pairing edge foundational software with cost-effective hardware resulting in better ROI and solution longevity.

2024 look back: Correct. More robust and flexible edge solutions are winning business from traditional, hardware-focused edge solutions, allowing operators to choose their preferred hardware.

7. Industrial edge systems open up

Closed industrial edge hardware/software systems start to open up to their edge systems for consistency and interoperability. Industrial systems companies have built advanced, proprietary solutions for industry verticals for years. Their dominance by vertical will continue. However, the movement towards more flexible edge foundations and the demand to incorporate new AI technologies will have them start to open up their closed systems.

Bottom line: Industrial control systems will begin to open up, providing more flexibility and interoperability to benefit the entire IoT ecosystem. 

2024 look back: Incorrect. The industrial edge hardware providers have not yet adopted a more open and flexible approach, choosing instead to attempt to protect their existing market share by vertical.

8. IoT and AI software converge

Two completely separate worlds will begin to converge, the operations and data science teams, aided by advanced IoT foundational software. This allows operators to easily plug into existing systems to stream data into the AI tools used by the data science teams directly. The resulting models are easily deployed in the field and controlled by operators who know the systems best. We are already seeing this in the renewable energy sector.

Bottom line: AI continues to move rapidly forward, but now the operations team is more involved in the process, increasing the velocity of advanced solutions in the field.

2024 look back: Correct. AI became a significant focus in 2023, and the convergence of AI and IoT will continue rapidly over the next several years.

9. IoT Security gets serious

IoT security gets a ton of attention in the press and the fine print of contracts. Still, it needs more attention during and after implementation. Bespoke systems cobbled together with multiple cloud services will be at the most risk. More connected parts mean more attack surfaces, and most testing practices today are woefully inadequate.

Bottom line: There will be at least one major IoT breach in the coming year, prompting more attention to IoT security, including increased government regulation to protect critical infrastructure.

2024 look back: Correct. Over the last year, several IoT breaches led to increased focus on security across all IoT and edge infrastructure.

10. Edge foundational software gains popularity

Edge foundational software technologies will advance rapidly to help secure data for critical systems. However, securing and sharing private data continues to be challenging, and the regulations vary widely by region. Keeping data local, resident, and encrypted makes it more secure and gives greater control over its usage and distribution. 

Bottom line: Privacy and security requirements will drive edge foundation software adoption, securing sensitive data for critical infrastructure.  

2024 look back: Partially correct. Edge foundational software is slowly emerging as industrial hardware manufacturers have been slow to adopt foundational edger software solutions.

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