(Image credit/Pixabay/TheDigitalArtist)Microsoft Corp. today announced IoT Signals, a new research report designed to provide a global overview of the IoT landscape. Microsoft surveyed over 3,000 IoT decision-makers in enterprise organisations. The report provides a holistic, market-level view of the IoT ecosystem, including adoption rates, related technology trends, challenges, and benefits of IoT.

The report indicates that IoT adoption is growing rapidly. Respondents believe 30% of their company’s revenue two years from now will be due to IoT. Yet, the industry faces a significant IoT skills gap. In addition, the technology faces complexity and security challenges that may compromise business benefits to IoT if not addressed.

Transforming business

(Image credit/LinkedIn/Sam George)
Sam George, Head of Azure IoT

IoT is transforming businesses in every industry and is powering breakthrough innovations,” said Sam George, head of Azure IoT.

Our research shows unlocking IoT’s potential requires the industry to address challenges like skills shortage, security concerns and solution complexity. Microsoft is leading the way on simplifying and securing IoT so that every business on the planet can benefit.

IoT Signals key findings:

  • Eighty-five percent of respondents are in IoT adoption, and three-fourths of these have IoT projects in planning.
  • Among IoT adopters, 88% believe IoT is critical to business success.
  • IoT adopters believe they will see a 30% ROI, inclusive of cost savings and efficiencies, two years from now.
  • Nearly all IoT adopters — 97% — have security concerns when implementing IoT, but this is not hindering adoption.
  • Thirty-eight percent of IoT adopters cite complexity and technical challenges to using IoT as a barrier to furthering IoT adoption.
  • Lack of talent and training present challenges for half of IoT adopters. Forty-seven percent say there are not enough available skilled workers.
  • Respondents believe critical technology drivers for IoT success in the next two years are AI, edge computing and 5G.
  • Nearly one-third of projects (30%) fail in the proof-of-concept stage, often because implementation is expensive or bottom-line benefits are unclear.

Bringing cloud intelligence to the edge

The proliferation of IoT devices is enabling companies to bring cloud intelligence to the edge. Businesses are creating solutions that are adaptive and responsive to their environments.

“According to IDC’s Worldwide Global DataSphere IoT Devices and Data Forecast, IDC expects 41.6 billion connected IoT devices by 2025. This will grow 8.9% over the forecast period,” said Carrie MacGillivray, group vice president, IoT, 5G and Mobility at IDC. “As the market mature, IoT increasingly becomes the fabric enabling the exchange of information from ‘things’ to people and processes. Data becomes the common denominator. As it is captured, processed, and used from the nearest and farthest edges of the network. Data will create value for industries, governments, and individuals’ lives.”

Across industries customers including Starbucks, Chevron, Bühler AG, Steelcase, thyssenkrupp are transforming their business with IoT and intelligent edge solutions. In partnership with BCG Group, Microsoft identified seven key ingredients for success in IoT. This includes business strategy, leadership and organization, a technology roadmap, talent, operations and core business processes, partnerships, and security.

Microsoft is investing $5 billion in IoT and intelligent edge technologies and ecosystem by 2022. In the past year, Microsoft has added over 100 new features and services and released 70 new IoT partner announcements. The company has an ecosystem of over ten thousand IoT and intelligent edge partners. to support organisations embracing IoT.

Enterprise Time: What does this mean for business?

It looks like all the major companies are jumping on the IoT bandwagon. Recently, Deutsche Telekom and Software AG announced a partnership to deliver Internet of Things (IoT) services on a global scale. Now Microsoft is investing $5 billion into it’s IoT ecosystem.

Internet of Things has so much potential for businesses across virtually all industries and sector. It has the potential to form the backbone for a vast range of business mission-critical customer applications. It allows companies to remotely monitor, manage and control their connected devices and machines. Yet there’s so much hype about it, that sometimes, it difficult to separate the reality from the hype.

Recently, Forescout Technologies took a closer look at the impact of IoT on the enterprise. Their report discovered a blurring of the boundaries between consumer and enterprise IoT. The result – an uncontained, unnoticed and uncontrolled spread of devices across the enterprise.

Forecourt Technologies research highlighted security concerns with the use of IoT in enterprise organisations. Microsoft’s research shows the expected wide adoption of IoT across industries and sectors. However, CTOs, CIOs and CEOs must ensure the necessary security protocols and infrastructure are in place to safeguard public interest in the technology.


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