The Internet of Things continues to grab headlines with eye-popping estimates of the number of connected devices that will surround us in our daily lives, and forecasts for how it will radically transform business. But while companies expect big things from IoT and are embarking on IoT initiatives, there's been little actual deployment, according to a study by TEKsystems.
The staffing specialist polled 207 IT and business leaders in November about the state of their IoT initiatives. Only 22% of respondents said their IoT pilot projects have transitioned into implementation with actual IoT-driven processes, services and products. While 19% are planning IoT initiatives and 17% are piloting them, 42% are just contemplating IoT's potential.
Not surprisingly, large organizations with $5 billion or more in annual revenue are more likely than smaller companies to be implementing IoT projects, the study showed. Those polled by TEKsystems represent a range of business sizes and industry sectors.
Fifty percent of survey respondents cited increased exposure of data -- information security risk -- as the biggest challenge in realizing the potential of IoT for their business. Moreover, they're having a hard time finding information security pros to help with their IoT projects: 45% said information security is the hardest skill set to find. Data analytics skills also are elusive; 34% said they can't find them, according to the survey.
ROI -- the ability to make the business case for IoT initiatives -- is another top obstacle for IoT projects with 43% citing it as a challenge. Thirty-seven percent cited concerns about interoperability with current infrastructure and 33% said they're worried about staffing.
Overall, companies aren’t very confident in their organization's in-house ability to take on IoT projects even though two-thirds of those polled expect internal staff to handle them.
TEKsystems queried the IT and business leaders about their organizational level of preparedness for handling a range of IoT initiative phases in-house -- everything from strategy definition and project design to technology implementation -- and less than one in four rated their readiness level as "excellent" or "very good."
Nonetheless, businesses are bullish on the long-term benefits they expect from their IoT initiatives, the study showed: 64% expect it will create better user and customer experience, 56% looked forward to increased innovation, 52% said it will create more efficient business processes, and half said it create new revenue streams.
The survey also indicated that in the majority of cases (64%), IT has the leadership role in IoT projects. Business development/strategy was cited as the leader by 32% of respondents. According to TEKsystems, additional survey data indicated that organizations already implementing IoT are more likely to report that leadership for IoT resides in business development units.