CXOs keen on internet of things but lack skills and infrastructure

EMERGING technologies often find it hard to secure the buy-in of business leaders because they’re hard to understand.

Be it blockchain or 5G, there’s just not enough clarity about how it can help a business get ahead of the competition or achieve (significantly) more than existing systems and processes. That’s not the case with the internet of things (IoT).

IoT is an easy to understand technology that business leaders can visualize almost immediately — which is why they don’t struggle to see why investing it in is a good idea.

Unfortunately, despite the willingness of CXOs and decision-makers, many organizations don’t end up adopting IoT in their operational or administrative workflows.

A new IDC study finds that despite 85 percent of businesses saying that they have a budget and appetite for IoT, the skills gap and the lack of infrastructure readiness hinder adoption significantly.

Businesses surveyed typically see IoT as something that can not only help improve productivity, reduce costs, and achieve better product quality, but also improve safety — a key concern in industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and the public sector.

Unfortunately, while IoT improves physical security in the form of better perimeter monitoring through infrared sensors and strategically placed pressure and temperature beacons in sensitive zones, the technology increases the surface area of the organization’s network, creating more cybersecurity risks.

“Across the IoT ecosystem industry, it is becoming plain that security is a complex topic with many layers across applications, network, data, and devices,” said IDC’s ANZ Practice Research Manager Monica Collier.

“Interestingly, while companies said they are concerned about security at the application and data level, there is little or no concern about device security.

“Endpoints can be quite vulnerable and organizations should not overlook this potential weakness. We need more IoT platforms that do a good job of IoT endpoint device management.”

A recent study by IDC in Australia and New Zealand pointed out that cybersecurity concerns are quite a big deal for business leaders — again emphasizing on the fact that the lack of experienced talent makes it harder to go ahead with enterprise-wide IoT projects as security would be challenging to manage.

“To move past the barriers inhibiting production scale IoT, organizations have to solve the broader security issues. At the same time, IoT vendors need to be supporting enterprises with IoT security expertise, more comprehensive analytics and helping measure how solutions are performing against business requirements,” added Collier.

At the end of the day, the reality is that companies are keen on building and scaling IoT platforms, but they need to make sure that they are able to get two things sorted:

  • Businesses need to rope in the talent they need to deliver on expectations, and
  • Build the infrastructure that will support the overall ecosystem — including sensors, connectivity, and platforms to collect, store, sort, manage, and govern the data effectively.
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