IoT projects moving beyond pilot stage, study finds

More businesses are moving beyond small-scale pilot schemes when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), towards full-scale deployments that incorporate big data analytics, cloud computing and security capabilities.

This is according to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), which revealed that almost a third of firms (31.4 per cent) have already launched solutions that take advantage of this technology, while a further 43 per cent expect to deploy these tools in the next 12 months.

More than half of respondents (55 per cent) also agreed that the technology will be an essential strategic solution that helps their business to compete more effectively. Key benefits of IoT solutions include better productivity, lower costs and the automation of internal processes.

Carrie MacGillivray, vice-president for Mobility and Internet of Things at IDC, noted that vendors that can offer an integrated cloud and data analytics solution will be seen as vital partners when organisations are investing in IoT.

Given the huge volume and variety of data that IoT deployments are expected to create in the coming years, being able to effectively analyse this and derive insight in a timely manner is essential. Therefore, having strong analytics tools is an essential part of a good IoT project.

However, this means having people with the right skills and knowledge to make the most of this – and this is something that many businesses are currently lacking.

IDC's research found that a lack of internal skills in this area is a challenge that is hindering many initiatives. This was named as one of the top worries facing decision makers along with privacy/security issues and the costs of implementing IoT solutions.

The company also found that as the benefits of IoT become clearer, the technology is more likely to be embraced by both IT departments and business units.

Vernon Turner, senior vice-president of Enterprise Systems and IDC Fellow for the Internet of Things, commented: "Setting strategies, finding budgets, and supporting IoT solutions have contributed to an ongoing tussle between line of business executives (LOBs) and CIOs. However, that race may be over, because in many cases LOBs are now both leading the discussions and either paying in full or sharing the costs of IoT initiatives with the CIOs."