For a few years now, experts have been advising enterprises to prepare their IT infrastructure for an onslaught of connected devices and it appears companies are paying heed. According to a study by 451 Research, enterprises are planning to boost storage capacity, networking, and other infrastructure to accommodate the increased data produced by their internet of things projects.
The study, which polled 575 IT and IoT decision makers worldwide, found that organizations are making changes to their IT resources to support their IoT projects. Specifically, they're planning to increase storage capacity (32%), network edge equipment (30%), server infrastructure (29%), and off-premises cloud infrastructure (27%) over the next year.
451 Research analysts said "the collection, storage, transport and analysis of IoT data is impacting all aspects of IT infrastructure."
More than half of the IT pros surveyed reported that their companies initially store and analyze IoT data at a company-owned data center. "IoT data remains stored there for two-thirds of organizations, while nearly one-third of the respondents move the data to a public cloud," analysts said.
About 65% of those surveyed, which are based mostly in North America and Europe, said they're planning to increase their spending on IoT projects in the next 12 months. Less than 3% plan to reduce their IoT spending, according to 451 Research's Voice of the Enterprise: Internet of Things – Workloads and Key Projects.
451 Research supplemented its web-based survey with 11 in-depth phone interviews with IoT IT managers and C-level executives
Top IoT use cases include data center management and surveillance and security monitoring, but in two years, facilities automation is likely to be the main use case, analysts said.
Many of the companies surveyed said they process IoT data at the edge, either on the IoT device or in nearby IT infrastructure.
"Companies are processing IoT workloads at the edge today to improve security, process real-time operational action triggers, and reduce IoT data storage and transport requirements,” Rich Karpinski, research director at 451 Research, said in a prepared statement. While some say that they plan to conduct deeper data analytics at the network edge as well, most of the heavy data processing is happening in company-owned data centers or public cloud, he added.
Nearly half of those polled reported having a hard time finding workers with IoT skills, according to the report. Data analytics, security, and virtualization are the skills most in demand, according to the report.
A separate study released late last month by satellite communications company Inmarsat also found an IoT skills shortage. According to the global survey of 500 senior IT decision-makers conducted by Vanson Bourne, 60% of those polled said they need more cybersecurity staff to handle the deluge of IoT data and 46% said they lacked staff with experience in analytics and data science. Nearly half said they lacked technical support skills required for successful IoT deployments.