A recent survey by Machina Research (Lessons Learned from Early Adopters of the IoT: A Global Study of Connected Businesses) suggests that the IoT is moving quickly from novelty to necessity. Nearly two thousand management-level employees in companies earning $15 million and up per year in the USA, UK, Japan, Australia, and Brazil representing all major sectors of industry took part. About 20% of the respondents have started some kind of IoT initiative, and close to 30% expect to do so in the next 6 months to 2 years.
Focusing on the innovators and early adopters of the IoT, the survey gleaned some useful information which may be helpful for those who have not yet implemented a strategy—and in many cases, those who have. It seems that the majority of early adopters of the IoT took a do-it-yourself approach, and most of them found the IoT more complicated to implement than they expected. Future adopters say they will not repeat that mistake.
“When asked about primary concerns around IoT, adopters have some insight that non-adopters just don’t yet have,” states the report. “Adopters point to ‘complexity of the IoT solution’ as the largest concern around IoT, a concern that non-adopters have yet to consider fully.” Among those who have taken IoT initiatives, over half of them mentioned concerns about complexity, compared to only a quarter of those who have not yet taken the first step.
Other top concerns included security, ease of integration with existing systems, and the expense of implementation. These commonly-held concerns are undoubtedly part of the reason for the reluctance of others to undertake IoT projects on their own. The majority of them responded that they are planning to work with an IoT-capable partner.
“Based on past experience of our adopters, companies who haven’t yet adopted IoT initiatives should not go it alone,” the report recommends. “Instead they should focus on finding partners whose core competency is connecting products securely.”
The report suggests that an ideal partner should not only have a technology platform, but should be able to simplify the complexity of the IoT. They ensure that security is not an ad-hoc afterthought, but instead is inherent to the design of the system itself. The partner should be able to easily integrate the IoT solution with existing and legacy systems, and offer significant cost savings and ROI.