Spiceworks report: IoT already central to workplaces
Spiceworks Future of IT report
Spiceworks' Future of IT report

Spiceworks report: IoT already central to workplaces

A Spiceworks report on the future of IT has compared the impact on the workplace of the Internet of Things (IoT) to virtual reality, 3D printing and artificial intelligence.  

The hype around the latest technologies and the expectation that they are set to revolutionize the workplace are far from new ideas. But how are these supposed game-changers performing in reality? Spiceworks’ latest report – the Future of IT – has taken a closer look. The overwhelming conclusion is that the time for the IoT has already come. The future is now.

Read more: Retailers overly optimistic about Internet of Things, finds report

IoT technology already making its mark

Spiceworks’ report focuses on four technologies that have emerged in the workplace in recent years: IoT, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing. Unsurprisingly, when asked which technologies were already in use or had plans for use in the pipeline, the niche technologies of VR and 3D printing ranked lower among IT professionals compared with IoT and AI.

3D printers are currently in use at 11 percent of organizations, with an additional 22 percent planning to adopt. Only 7 percent of organizations currently use VR technology, and just 13 percent of IT pros have future plans for adoption.

Interestingly, the grey area that is AI caused only 3 percent of survey respondents to state that it was deployed in their organization, with future adoption expected to be around the 25 percent mark. However, once it was suggested to them that digital assistants such as Siri, Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa counted under the category, the figures for current use and future adoption shot up to 19 percent and 46 percent respectively.

While there may be a disconnect between how the general market and IT professionals define AI, there was certainly a consensus with regards to the of IoT technology to current and future business plans. 64% of respondents said that connected devices were important to current practices, while 80% predicted the IoT to be important within 3-5 years.

Read more: Industry report urges vendors to act on IoT security flaws

Spiceworks: IoT security and privacy issues “need to be addressed”

Spiceworks released a 2016 IoT Trends report earlier this year, which found that the majority of organizations IoT devices connected to their networks. These included video equipment (62 percent), electronic peripherals (46 percent) and physical security equipment (40 percent).

The report also that a massive 90 percent of professionals in IT are of the opinion that the IoT comes with security and privacy issues in the workplace that need to be addressed. Specific concerns relate to the number of entry points into the network (84%) and the fact that manufacturers aren’t putting tough enough security measures in place (70 percent).

Alex Mathews, lead security evangelist at Positive Technologies, said that “It would be desirable to create comprehensive, agreed-upon guidelines for IoT security in cooperation with all the interested parties – from hardware manufacturers to service providers and security experts.”

“Another interesting solution may come from insurance companies. They could refuse to insure those solutions (smart homes, smart cars, etc.) that are deemed vulnerable. To enable this it may mean that they develop their own independent testing procedures and security policies with ‘approved’ lists of products.”