Mick McCarthy's side have made sure of another campaign in the top flight with two games remaining after collecting 10 points from their last seven matches.
But Scottish international Iwelumo is under no illusions as to the task ahead particularly as promoted Newcastle and West Brom have strength in depth and were in the Premier League only 12 months ago.
Iwelumo said: "We've stayed up and next year we will bring in a bit of quality but it is going to be a hard season again.
"We are going to be fighting again and, with a little bit of luck, you won't be sucked into that bottom part but it is a hard league.
"We can all dream that we can be up there but I'm telling you now next season will be just as hard, if not harder because people know what to expect.
"Look at the teams coming up. Newcastle and West Brom have been there, done it, have the strength in depth, the money behind them.
"All we can do is make sure we get the right players in, the right characters in with the right work ethic and hopefully that little bit of quality as well and build slowly but surely."
Iwelumo has struggled to hold down a regular spot but is full of praise for the straightforward approach of McCarthy.
He said: "The gaffer is as honest as they come. He tells it as it is. The way we play, the way we work, is all about what he puts to us and how he wants us to play.
"First and foremost you've got to work your socks off and then all that passing, the quality and magic on the ball, comes a close second.
"That is the way it is always going to be."