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What a year 2016 has been for SAP IoT!  We have launched some great new products and solutions, some exciting new partnerships have been hatched, not to mention two strategic acquisitions, Fedem and PLAT.ONE.

On my travels around the world this year, I have had time to consider the many trends I have seen, as I worked with customers on their digital transformation journey.  I thought I would share some of those and make a few predictions:

  • There is no doubt that The Internet of Things is changing the IT terrain. It is clearly influencing business decisions and initiatives, and will continue to be far reaching, beyond tech, and has the power to touch and change every industry. The only limitation is our imagination and the openness of companies and people.
  • I see more and more companies starting projects that will fundamentally change the way they do business in the future – from reducing over-heads, creating new revenue streams, to making smarter supply chain decisions, step-change in productivity, to name just a few.
  • It is no longer just a “thing” or marketing hype that companies are starting to consider, IoT has become a strategic driver for company success, and is a topic that appears regularly on board agenda’s – and this has to be the case for companies to be successful.
  • There is also a clear understanding that machine data will essentially reshape business processes and that organizations are working outside the normal silo’s – cross-company working together as “one team” to consider and develop opportunities that machine data can bring to the economy and society as a whole.
  • The key drivers for IoT are not rocket science – those of efficiency and productivity, which are still often the starting point for a discussion on how to best utilize IoT technologies in a business. I am, however, seeing more and more that openness and hunger for new/alternate business ideas and models are really driving the change we are seeing in the industry.  I believe that the companies that are thinking along these lines will be the successful ones. The world will change significantly over the next 5-10 years and new business models will decide the success or failure of a company.
  • Some of the topics that I believe will be key in 2017 are:
    • IoT security and how we resolve the concerns in the market.
    • Block chain, although right now in the experiment phase, it has the power to track the ownership of assets without the need for a central authority, speeding up transactions and cutting costs while reducing the chance of fraud.
    • 3-D printing from parts to components to the somewhat scary potential to print human organs and bone – which may still be way in the future, but make no mistake 3-D printing has the power to revolutionize everything we make.
  • And finally, while I see consumers lagging behind businesses, I have no doubt, that with 50 billion+ devices connected to the internet by 2020, IoT will change our personal lives in the way we, as humans, interact with machines, from smart homes, to smart cars, to smart food and helping our environment with better utilization of natural resource – making the world run better!
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