IoT adoption has been predicted to increase 50 percent in 2016, although it widely varies by industry. While some industries, such as utilities, oil and gas, and manufacturing, are highly responsive in terms of adoption, others don’t even have a plan to implement IoT, Gartner estimates.
Around 21 percent of organizations are expected to adopt IoT throughout 2016, raising the percentage of organizations that embrace machine-to-machine technologies to 43 percent by 2017, but that still leaves more than half reticent.
IoT Adoption Concerns
Security has often been cited as the main concern for organizations when adopting an IoT strategy, as there’s currently a shortage in IoT management and integration with existing infrastructures and policies. While some organizations, such as the IoT Security Foundation or OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project), have offered to help develop a security framework or guidelines, nothing is yet universally accepted or enforced by the entire industry.
"The effort of securing IoT is expected to focus more and more on the management, analytics and provisioning of devices and their data,” said Ruggero Contu, research director at Gartner. “IoT business scenarios will require a delivery mechanism that can also grow and keep pace with requirements in monitoring, detection, access control and other security needs.”
While security has been a main reason for businesses not to fully embrace the internet-of-things, it does shed some light into why 38 percent of businesses do not even have a plan for IoT adoption. Demonstration of the return on investment for such projects has also been tied to specific industries, as some smart sensors could be far more cost effective for some companies than other.
Evaluating the contribution that IoT can bring to an organization has been met with both skepticism and enthusiasm, with some companies solving security problems as they presented themselves. Some companies have been saying IoT adoption can prove most beneficial for boosting efficiency and optimizing costs, as shown by their own experience.
“Don’t just focus on the cyber security aspect of IoT and say, ‘what if someone breaks into the technology?’, focus on the new use cases that are related to safety and security,” said John Miri, Chief Administrative Officer at the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) at the Cloud and DevOps World conference in London. “There are a lot of unanswered questions on the opportunities and the risk, particularly the cyber threats around IoT, and we need to make sure our ability to handle the threats collectively grows faster than the threats themselves.”
Security vendors have been pushing the same for IoT adoption for the past couple of years, with some actually developing new technologies for securing home network smart devices. While some organizations have decided to pioneer IoT programs, it’s been estimated that 21 percent are expect to implement IoT after 2016.
Organizations have yet to get a clear picture of what benefits IoT can offer them, nor have they taken the time to investigate potential applications. Whether because of lack of clear leadership or because of insufficient expertise and IoT staffing, businesses can sometimes find it difficult to identify IoT benefits and challenges.