Six out of ten IoT projects fail at trial stage, says survey
Six out of ten IoT projects fail at trial stage, says survey

Six out of ten IoT projects fail at trial stage, says survey

A survey released by Cisco this week has found that 60 percent of IoT projects fail at the proof-of-concept (POC) stage. 

The networking giant’s survey canvassed 1,845 IT and business decision-makers in the US, UK and India, across industries such as manufacturing, local government, transportation and healthcare. According to Cisco, every respondent to the study works for an organisation that has already completed or is going through the process of implementing an IoT initiative. 

While the IoT industry is growing at a rapid rate, Cisco also identified that only 26 percent of companies say that they have had an IoT initiative that they considered a complete success, suggesting that three out of four completed projects fail to meet their objectives in some respect. 

However, Cisco stresses that companies are gaining valuable insights from failure that will inform future IoT initiatives. Sixty-four percent of respondents agreed that learnings from stalled or failed projects have actually helped accelerate their organization’s investment in IoT. And on an optimistic note, 61 percent say that they have “barely begun to scratch the surface of what IoT technologies can do for their business.”

Read more: Cisco announces fourth acquisition of the year, buys MindMeld for AI

Focus on people

Close human involvement, the study found, is paramount in the success of IoT projects. Factors such as workplace culture, organisation and leadership are essential, Cisco said.

Three of the four top factors behind successful IoT projects are centred on people and relationships. Collaboration between IT and business teams was the top factor, agreed by 54 percent of respondents.

A technology-focused workplace culture, supported by business leaders, was deemed key by 49 percent of respondents. Meanwhile, IoT expertise was chosen by a further 48 percent of respondents.

Additionally, organisations with successful IoT initiatives have fostered strong industry partnerships. They’ve used partners throughout every project phase, from planning to data analytics.

Read more: SAS, Cisco claim first platform for IoT analytics at the edge

Growing fragmentation  

Although there’s agreement on the importance of collaboration between different departments, IT decision-makers are likely to place more importance on technological, organisational culture and vendor-based factors.

On the other hand, business decision-makers believe in placing an emphasis on strategy, business cases, processes and milestones.

IT decision-makers are more likely to think that their IoT initiatives are successful (35 percent), while business leaders are less likely to believe this (15 percent).

Six out of ten respondents reported that IoT initiatives may look easy to begin with, but they prove to be more difficult than expected.

Challenges often include time to complete, limited internal expertise, quality of data, integration across teams, and budget overruns.

Read more: Cisco looks to shape future of British power distribution


If projects are successful, companies can use smart data insights to improve business processes. 73 percent of participants are using data analytics from completed projects to improve their businesses.

The top three benefits of IoT are: improved customer satisfaction (70 percent); operational efficiencies (67 percent); and improved product/service quality (66 percent). Important insights

Inbar Lasser-Raab, vice president of Cisco Enterprise Solutions Marketing, commented on the release of the report: “We are seeing new IoT innovations almost every day.

“We connecting things that we never thought would be connected, creating incredible new value to industries. But where we see most of the opportunity, is where we partner with other vendors and create solutions that are not only connected but also share data.

“That shared data is the basis of a network of industries – sharing of insights to make tremendous gains for business and society, because no one company can solve this alone.”

Read more: Cisco debuts network switch for IoT devices to make buildings smarter