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2020 Trends in IoT, Edge, and AI Development

Monday, October 19, 2020 - 09:08 by Mike Milinkovich

The results of our 2020 IoT Developer Survey are in, revealing a number of interesting trends that will impact all IoT ecosystem players. Whether you’re a technology manufacturer, a service provider, an enterprise adopter of IoT solutions, or an individual developer, this year’s survey results provide insight that will help you better understand how developers’ choices are impacting IoT strategies and businesses.

This year, more than 1,650 individuals from a broad range of industries and organizations around the globe responded to the IoT Developer Survey and I want to thank them for their time. Their valuable input will help ensure the Eclipse IoT Working Group and the Eclipse Edge Native Working Group continue to focus on developers’ top priorities for cloud-to-edge IoT solution development.

Here are just a few of the highlights.

Smart Agriculture Is the New Industry Focus Area

One of the most significant findings in this year’s survey is that smart agriculture is now the top IoT industry focus area, jumping from 21 percent in our 2019 IoT Developer Survey to 26 percent this year.

IoT-based solutions are increasingly being used to boost yields, lower costs, reduce waste, and achieve other efficiencies on farm and dairy enterprises, as well as within food processing plants. Optimizing food production is vital to every country in the world, and a quick internet search on the topic confirms our survey results reflect the overall growth in the global agriculture IoT market.

Interestingly, last year’s top industry focus, home automation, dropped significantly in this year’s survey. At 19 percent, this category fell behind industrial automation, education, automotive, and smart cities, which tied for second place at 21 percent.

Artificial Intelligence Is the Top Choice for Edge Computing Workloads

IoT and edge computing are intrinsically linked, so it was natural to include questions related to edge computing technologies in this year’s IoT Developer Survey.

Notably, the results show that developers are now more focused on artificial intelligence (AI). AI was the most frequently selected edge computing workload at 30 percent. However, other applications follow closely behind:

  • Control logic: 29 percent
  • Data exchange: 27 percent
  • Data aggregation and filtering (sensor fusion): 27 percent

The relatively even rankings among these four options confirm they’re all being actively used for edge computing workloads. It will be interesting to see how their usage evolves over time and how quickly AI adoption progresses.

IoT Is Synonymous With Open Source

The survey results also reveal that 65 percent of respondents experiment with, use, or contribute to open source projects. In the database domain, open source almost completely dominates with only four percent of survey respondents relying on a proprietary database. These are very strong endorsements of the value developers see in open source software for IoT solutions.

At the Eclipse Foundation, we’re experiencing first-hand the momentum toward open source software in IoT.

Over the last few years, the Eclipse Foundation IoT community has grown to become one of the largest open source collaborations in the world with 45 projects, 350+ contributors, 40+ corporate members, and more than eight million lines of code produced. Eclipse IoT projects have been adopted by some of the world’s leading companies, including Bosch, Red Hat, Eurotech, and many others, to deliver commercial IoT solutions and services. 

Get the Complete Survey Results

The findings I’ve highlighted here provide just a small glimpse into this year’s IoT Developer Survey results. I encourage everyone to download the full 2020 IoT Developer Survey results to gain additional insight into:

  • The top IoT developer concerns
  • The most widely used security techniques in IoT and the growing momentum of distributed ledger technologies
  • The most widely used programming languages for IoT solutions
  • The top edge computing artifacts and deployment choices
  • The top IoT middleware choices
  • The top public IoT and cloud platforms

Download the 2020 IoT Developer Survey results.

Get Involved in Eclipse IoT Communities

To stay current with the happenings in the Eclipse IoT Working Group, join the mailing list here.

To join the Eclipse Edge Native Working Group conversation on Slack, click here.