From the edge to the cloud, IoT projects are already making their impact felt on corporate IT budgets, says a new report from market analyst firm, 451 Research.
In the latest Voice of the Enterprise: IoT Workloads and Key Projects report, the company’s analysts found that organizations deploying IoT are planning increases in storage capacity (cited by 32 percent of respondnents), network edge equipment (30 percent), server infrastructure (29 percent) and off-premise cloud infrastructure (27 percent) over the next 12 months, in order to help manage the wealth of new data that Internet-connected machines, sensors and devices are expected to generate.
Two-thirds of those questioned, from a pool of some 575 senior IT buyers, said that their organizations plan to increase budgets for IoT projects over the next 12 months.
Use cases changing
Today, IT-centric projects are the dominant IoT use cases, particularly datacenter management and surveillance and security monitoring. Two years out, however, facilities automation will likely be the most popular use case, and line-of-business-centric supply chain management is expected to jump from number six to number three.
Finding IoT-skilled workers, meanwhile, remains a challenge since the company’s last IoT survey in 2016, with almost half of respondents saying they face a skills shortage for IoT-related tasks. Data analytics, security and virtualization capabilities are the skills most in demand.
On premise or in the cloud?
451 Research finds that the collection, storage, transport and analysis of IoT data is impacting all aspects of IT infrastructure budgets. Most respondents say they initially store (53 percent) and analyze (59 percent) IoT data at a company-owned data center. IoT data remains stored there for two-thirds of organizations, while nearly one-third of the respondents move the data to a public cloud.
But according to the company’s analysts, once IoT data moves beyond operational and real-time uses and the focus is on historical use cases such as regulatory reporting and trend analysis, cloud storage gives organizations greater flexibility and often significant cost savings for the long term.
Despite this centralization of IoT data, the survey also finds plenty of action at the edge. Just under half of respondents say they do IoT data processing – including data analysis, data aggregation or data filtering – at the edge, either on the IoT device itself (22 percent) or in nearby IT infrastructure (23 percent).
“Companies are processing IoT workloads at the edge today to improve security, process real-time operational action triggers, and reduce IoT data storage and transport requirements,” said Rich Karpinski, research director for Voice of the Enterprise: Internet of Things.
“While some enterprises say that in the future they will do more analytics – including heavy data processing and analysis driven by big data or AI – at the network edge, for now that deeper analysis is happening in company-owned datacenters or in the public cloud.”