This year was the most impressive IoT World yet. Located in Santa Clara, California, the ever-growing event’s theme this year was IoT in Action, which is fitting as we’ve watched IoT practices and strategies pick up steam over the years. From the large number of attendees to the vast array of industries either testing the IoT waters or taking the full plunge, it’s clear that IoT is no longer hype but an undeniably present technological trend that is being wholeheartedly embraced.
After the sixth IoT World event — I’ve been to all of them — I was able to reflect back on the first IoT World. It was held in a very small hotel in Palo Alto, California, with a mere seven table tops. It really is amazing to see how far this show has come, not only from the number of exhibitors but also in the presence of larger companies getting involved and making significant investments for the future. It’s clear that many organizations want to engage in IoT in some way or another, even if it’s just to discover more about it.
Opportunities to Learn
As IoT develops, many companies are trying to come up with a game plan for how to incorporate it into their future business scope. Consequently, for many, IoT planning is still in the early stages, and attending the show offers chances to get answers and to gather a better understanding.
One analyst describes IoT as a market of markets, meaning there are many different flavors of IoT. This can cause confusion just because of the overabundance of IoT choices that organizations have. At this time, I believe there are around 400 to 500 IoT platforms alone, making it very intimidating to know what is applicable to an industry or company.
This makes IoT World the perfect opportunity for organizations to absorb as much as they can, so they don’t miss out on opportunities that could improve the efficiency of their business.
Speaking Sessions & Exhibits
To help get organizations on the right track and moving in the right direction, IoT World offered sessions where people could go and listen to industry experts speak. Cradlepoint held two sessions: one on Smart City concepts, which had very high attendance, as well as a panel where we discussed general IoT technologies.
People were also able to pick up important facets of IoT at the different exhibits and booths. Just having conversations with people, such as solution engineers and solution architects, inspired new ideas and enabled face-to-face answers to questions.
Connectivity & Security
Cradlepoint is known for connectivity and security, and these were hot topics at the Cradlepoint booth. A lot of times it seems that organizations believe that to implement an IoT solution, they need to develop the end-to-end architecture. They might do some experimenting to create their own IoT solution, attempt to piece together their own connectivity, and try to implement it, only to discover they are blocked by their IT department because it wasn’t designed to be compatible with the security requirements. Cradlepoint is able to provide 4G LTE connectivity solutions, created to be compact and semi-ruggedized, with cloud-based management and security features that are ideal for IoT. This enables IoT developers to innovate at the edge and focus on their own area of expertise.
IoT World Attendees
The short answer to who attends IoT World is everyone. There really was a vast range of professionals attending. We’re talking about people trying to connect cows over a low-power radio network all the way to government officials or schools looking into things such as student tracking.
In the early days, we generally saw smaller companies coming out to participate in IoT. What we’re seeing today are many of the heavy hitters in the technology arena, like Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and enterprise networking companies like Juniper and Nokia attending. These groups are making a pivot towars IoT, which is showing us how much this space is maturing.
There were also many ecosystem companies, meaning people who provide hardware, software, or cloud solutions. In addition, I noticed a number of industry analysts and financial analysts who need to be well educated about IoT because many organizations are turning to them for advice and direction.
We also saw a lot of private equity firms, venture capital firms, and other financial experts who are looking for opportunities to invest in IoT.
Hackathons for IoT Development
There were hackathon groups working together as well at IoT World. This is an opportunity for a group of people to experiment, collaborate, and come up with new ideas about IoT solutions.
Overall, this was a very productive and exciting event that brought a lot of people together to share and learn about IoT. I can only imagine that this event, along with the development of IoT, will only keep growing.
Explore More About IoT & Security
To learn about securing IoT devices, watch the webinar "Protecting IoT Devices & Networks From Cyber Crime." WATCH NOW