Kathy Gibson is at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona – As Internet is Things (IoT) becomes mainstream, organisations are starting to get a clearer picture of the challenges its poses.

Andy Brown, executive director: IoT and enterprise at Strategy Analytics, says organisations are phasing in IoT now, often using line of business rather than IT budgets.

However, the issues and challenges are firmly in IT’s court, as IoT is poised to release new data and integration issues.

Today, security is the top concern when it comes to IoT applications, closely followed by costs, management of the network, devices and data, and integration with both IoT and non-IoT systems.

“Nowadays the issues are not so much around cost, but in changing legacy processes and managing change,” Brown says. “It is also around challenges like combining IoT and non-IoT data.”

With these realities, organisations are changing what they look for in an IoT vendor, he adds.

“There is a focus on the ability to offer technical support, robust technology, price, and alignment with both current and future needs. Vendor reputation and knowledge are key.”

John Baker, senior vice-president: business development at Mavenir, agrees that data is a core issue for IoT applications.

“What we are seeing is a drive to build networks at the edge for realtime data applications,” he says. “One of the big issues is about data going into the open network and back in the enterprise.”

Telefonica’s Andres Escribano believes IoT shouldn’t be underestimated. “We believe that 5G and IoT are the engines for digital transformation,” he says.

“The enterprise needs to open its mind and think of the end-to-end view.”

IoT is not just about smart, connected factories, he adds: the enterprise is a key player in the IoT revolution.

He explains that IoT use cases include smart agriculture, smart utilities, smart cities and supply chain/logistics.