The Internet of Things (IoT) is heading for mass adoption driven by better-than-expected results. But is your business prepared?
“The IoT has hit an inflection point in the minds of business executives across the globe. Helped by real-world examples of what it can achieve, IoT is showing strong gains across a range of markets. The story from here to 2019 is clear: IoT is moving from good to great,” according to research firm Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
The ‘Internet of Things’ means sensors connected to the Internet and behaving in an Internet-like way by making open, ad hoc connections, sharing data freely and allowing unexpected applications, so computers can understand the world around them and become humanity’s nervous system, according technology visionary Kevin Ashton—who coined the term ‘Internet of Things’.
In its ‘ The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow ’ report, Aruba argues that IoT will soon be widespread as 85% of businesses plan to implement IoT by 2019, driven by a need for innovation and business efficiency.
Over seven in ten (72%) enterprises have introduced IoT devices into the workplace, according to the study.
It also reveals that indoor location-based services ranks as the second most promising use case to improve employee productivity, after remote monitoring. Twenty percent report remote operation of building lighting and temperature as a key use case, but that number more than doubles to 53% when asked about future IoT implementations.
Governments lags in IoT adoption
Looking at the tangible results being realized today, Aruba argues that 78% leaders say the introduction of IoT in the workplace has improved the effectiveness of their IT team, and 75% find it has increased profitability.
The report also stated that more than six in ten (62%) respondents in the industrial sector have already implemented IoT. Today, the use of IP-based surveillance cameras for physical security within industrial organizations is still in its infancy, with only 6% having implemented it. However, when asked about future implementations, surveillance jumped five-fold to 32%.
The Retailers engage with customers and boost sales using indoor location technology. Just 49% of retailers are using IoT technology, but 81% of these report improved customer experiences.
The study concluded that in-store location services delivering personalized offers and product information to shoppers was touted as the number one implementation for IoT, alongside monitoring and maintenance. Four in ten retailers ranked surveillance in their top three key use cases.
However, the report discovered that Governments lags in IoT adoption, struggle with legacy technology but still reduce costs. The slowest sector to adopt IoT, only 42% of municipalities have deployed IoT devices and sensors. While nearly half (49%) of government IT departments are struggling with legacy technology, seven in ten IoT adopters in the public sector report cost savings and improved organizational visibility as the major benefits.
The study also warned that connecting thousands of things to existing business networks has already resulted in security breaches for the majority of organizations.
Most notably, security flaws were found across many IoT deployments.
The study found that 84% of organizations have experienced an IoT-related security breach. More than half of respondents declared that external attacks are a key barrier to embracing and adopting an IoT strategy. This confirms that a holistic IoT security strategy, built on strong network access control and policy management, will not only protect enterprises but also simplify the security approach for IT.
The ability to capture and effectively use data is described by Kevin Ashton as “what defines the Internet of Things”, but this appears to be another clear challenge for global organizations.
Ashton concludes: “Since its inception in 1999, the Internet of Things has been ridiculed, criticized, and misunderstood. And yet here we are, less than two decades later, in a world where tens of thousands of organizations are saving and making hundreds of millions of dollars from the Internet of Things, using cars that drive themselves, subway stations that sense passengers, algorithms that diagnose deadly diseases using phones, and many other once apparently-impossible technologies. The future promises far more amazing things. The most important decision you can make now is how to be a part of it.”
But while IoT grows, Aruba cautions “it is important to tread carefully. Our research found conflicting definitions of what IoT means, what IoT devices are connected and how to extract value from them. Furthermore, many organizations have failed to take the steps required to protect their networks and the devices connected to them”.