Implementing IoT comes second only to tackling security on the 2018 To Do list, according to a new survey from Wi-SUN Alliance.
Companies that have implemented IoT are overwhelmingly positive about the benefits they’ve achieved, and they’re keen to build on these foundations in 2018, according to a survey of 350 organizations in the UK, US, Denmark and Sweden, conducted on behalf of the Wi-SUN Alliance, a global industry association that focuses on connectivity.
No wonder, then, that enabling IoT comes high on the list of IT priorities for 2018; in second place, in fact, just after tackling security. When it comes to IoT benefits, over half of respondents (54 percent) say they have experienced improved business efficiency; 49 percent point to improved customer experience and 48 percent highlight better collaboration.
IoT rises on priorities list
The Wi-SUN Alliance’s report, The Rise of the Internet of Things, finds that half of organisations investing in IoT initiatives already have a fully implemented strategy in place, while more than a third (36 percent) have a partially implemented strategy. Companies are most advanced in the oil & gas industry, with 75 percent having a fully implemented strategy, followed by technology (59 percent) and energy and utilities (57 percent).
The research identifies a number of key drivers for IoT implementation. Around half (47 percent) said it would improve “network intelligence and connectivity for citizen safety and quality of life”, while 42 percent said a key driver is “creating business efficiencies” and 41 percent cited “improving reliability of systems and services”.
Not entirely rosy
Still, not everything in the IoT garden is rosy. While respondents report that enabling IoT is the second most important IT priority for the next 12 months, just behind improving security, almost all – a massive 90 percent – of those with an IoT plan at various stages of implementation have struggled to implement this, and over a third (36 percent) said they have found it “very or extremely difficult”.
Respondents highlight security as a barrier to IoT adoption. Fifty-nine percent of them cite security concerns, with the US (65 percent) and UK (64 percent) more concerned than those in Denmark or Sweden. Almost one in three (32 percent) see both funding and a lack of commitment from leadership, as barriers, while 30 percent view leadership’s lack of understanding of the benefits of IoT as a challenge.
The report also looks at the technical challenges in delivering IoT. Here, respondents identified a wide range of issues. Sixty-three percent mentioned security and safety; 46 percent data management; 41 percent network configuration, 39 percent recruiting IoT talent and 39 percent Wi-Fi connectivity.