The widely-touted IoT market is starting to have an impact in businesses across the US, but not necessarily in the ways many people have predicted.
A recently-completed survey of 620 professionals involved with IOT within their respective organisations, conducted by TECHnalysis Research, found that IoT is starting to drive key technologies out of the traditional realm of IT departments and into the arms of companies’ operations groups (sometimes called OT). In fact, two-thirds of all IoT projects in both medium (100-999 employees) and large (1,000+ employees) organisations are managed outside of IT.
Specifically, \ about 42% of IOT projects are managed by operations/facilities/manufacturing departments within an organization, another 33% by IT and the remaining 25% by line of business or business strategy departments.
The study also found that 61% of respondents believed IoT is an important or even essential part of their company’s strategies and goals. The clear implication, then, is that IT departments are starting to see the control of critical technologies move outside their direct reach.
“IoT is clearly a key technology and strategy driver for businesses across many industries,” says Bob O’Donnell, president of TECHnalysis Research and author of the study. “Yet it’s equally clear that the integration of IoT projects is starting to shift the center of technological ‘power’ within most organisations outside of IT.”
The primary goal of most IoT projects is changing and improving processes within an organization instead of the more commonly presumed goals of saving or making money. In fact, 43% of projects across the 12 different IoT applications that were studied for the report said their key focus was on improving process quality, while 38% strove to save money and half that amount hoped to make money.
Despite the lofty goals, however, the study also confirmed that many companies are still facing some serious real-world challenges and skepticism around the effectiveness of their efforts. As one survey respondent wrote: “I think what we’re trying to do [with IoT] is very exciting, but I am skeptical if the data that it will produce will be valuable or if it will show the same thing as our old data.”
In addition, when asked about the biggest challenges facing IoT in their organisations, the top choice wasn’t the security of IoT data (that was number three), but the high costs and capital outlays necessary to deploy their IoT projects. The time necessary to test and validate their projects was the second biggest concern, highlighting several of the real-world problems that today’s IoT deployments currently face.