One-third of firms can handle 100,000 IoT devices: report
Businesses ready to invest in IoT technologies
Businesses ready to invest in IoT technologies

One-third of firms can handle 100,000 IoT devices: report

Nearly one-third of organisations (31 percent) believe that they can handle up to 100,000 connected devices, according to a new study.

The report, published by IoT World, explores the things that senior executives consider when implementing Internet of Things technologies. The survey was carried out among IT and business leaders in supply chain/logistics, energy, construction, telecoms, agriculture, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, ecommerce, travel, and government.

Alongside the one-third of organisations that are able to implement large-scale projects, nearly half of all respondents – over 46 percent – revealed that their organisations have the resources to manage 1,000 IoT devices.

However, at the other end of the spectrum, 28 percent said that they can accommodate less than 100 devices, probably due to a lack of funding and expertise.

Lack of plans

While connected technology offers organisations numerous benefits, half of respondents lack global IoT strategies, according to the report. Nearly one-quarter of those are developing one, but 16.5 percent have yet to begin.

Aru Bala, president of the innovation business at industrial tools manufacturer Stanley Black & Decker, said that it is crucial that firms plan ahead for the continued rise of IoT technologies. “We have reached an inflection point where IoT is starting to accelerate to commercial mass-scaling from the proof-of-concept experimentation stage,” he said.

“It’s imperative for organisations to have a coherent IoT deployment strategy and not to be left out in this digital transformation arena.”

Great challenges

Although many respondents are confident about implementing IoT systems overall – some on a large scale – organisations still face challenges when it comes to scaling them or integrating them with existing systems, found the survey.

Currently, 53 percent of firms are dealing with legacy devices and software, while 46 percent admitted that they need highly specialised or custom tools to make a success of their IoT programmes.

Delegating IoT responsibilities among business departments is another challenge, found the report, with 37 percent of respondents admitting that they don’t know who should be in charge of connected sensors, gateways, hardware, or software.

When it comes to management, 47 percent of organisations revealed that they have been set back by implementation problems, while 12 percent said that they are unable to find the right support for production-quality deployments.

IoT security challenges

Connectivity and data protection are also presenting problems, according to the survey, with nearly half of respondents (49 percent) lacking the confidence to integrate the correct network management solutions.

Meanwhile, 37 percent said they’re not confident that they can secure IoT data.

Read more: Gartner: IoT security spend hitting $1.5 billion – but strategy poor

Read more: Vendors, users ignoring IoT security in rush to market – report

Read more: IIoT security: How to secure the ‘Internet of Threats’, by IBM

On the upside, 72 percent of firms said that they have successfully incorporated security into the design of products, while 62 percent are developing their own IoT security policies.

Dave Shuman, IoT and manufacturing industry leader at Cloudera, believes that firms are balancing “conflicting objectives” when deploying IoT technology.

He said there is a need to “apply pragmatic infosec policies to network devices around availability, integrity, and security, with the heterogeneous nature of the IoT landscape and its constrained network bandwidth”.

Internet of Business says

This timely report offers a useful snapshot into the state of play within IoT deployments. As the recent Gartner security report and others have found, there is a mismatch between many organisations’ operational technology objectives and their ability to formulate a coherent strategy throughout every level of the organisation.

Integrating IoT systems with business objectives is as much a cultural and management challenge as it is a technology problem demanding technology solutions.

And while Aru Bala may be right to warn interested organisations not to get left out in the race to digital transformation, there has to be a real strategic objective behind IoT programmes and the data that they gather and process – not just a strategy for their deployment.

Coming soon: Our Internet of Supply Chain conference.