Despite high security concerns surrounding Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology – as expressed by a nearly unanimous 97 percent of respondents – IoT adoption within business settings is expected to reach 94 percent by the year 2021.
This is according to a new annual survey on IoT uptake from Microsoft, which found that the vast majority (88 percent) who have already adopted IoT technology believe that it is a critical business component, and “enthusiasm is global.”
In a survey of over 3,000 decision makers – the IoT Signals report (the first in a new annual series) – across the world 85 percent responded that they are planning or already using IoT in the workplace.
However, businesses are reporting that many IoT projects fail during the proof of concept stage as the implementation costs start to spiral and they discover that they have no clear defined bottom-line benefits for the tech.
The report notes: “It’s difficult to justify moving forward on a project when the business benefits are not well enough defined: 28 percent of organizations reported that their projects failed because their pilots demonstrated unclear business value or ROI, and 26 percent of companies found it hard to justify a business case.”
A quarter of those surveyed reported failed IoT projects due to there being no clear strategy in place that showed how the technology would be rolled out, or how it would bring benefit to the organisation.
When asked why companies are seeking out IoT technology three key reasons came to the forefront.
Just over 50 percent cited that IoT is being used to drive operational optimisation, while just under 50 percent said that it helped to increase employee productivity. (The key areas in which the tech is being deployed are automation and quality control. The third most cited reason for IoT adoption, as cited by 44 percent of respondents, was that the technology is been used for safety and security.
Even though 97 percent said that they had concerns about the security of IoT devices, less than one in five said that security posed a challenge during implementation.
This suggest that companies are aware of the risk, but believe that they have the correct security teams and infrastructure in place to mitigate any risks and are undeterred by what they see as low level security concerns.
Despite the major security concerns and experienced lack of ROI for enterprises the report concludes with a positive future for IoT.
“Businesses with sufficient IoT knowledge, workers, resources, and leadership buy-in are more likely to get their projects past proof of concept, but even those with lower success rates are still committed to using IoT now and in the future, especially since ROI is projected to increase in the coming years.
“IoT is becoming indispensable to commercial organizations and, considering these findings as a whole, it’s safe to say that the future looks bright for IoT.”
The research was commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by insight agency Hypothesis Group. They surveyed over 3,000 decision makers in the UK, US, Germany, France, China and Japan. All of those surveyed work for companies who are currently involved in IoT technology.