Usage of Internet of Things technologies in the enterprise space will rise at a reasonable pace but executives are concerned about challenges like data integration and security, according to a new study conducted by consulting firm Bain & Co. The survey took place among 600 IT decision makers in businesses of all sizes and found that 60-percent of respondents were either launching entirely new IoT initiatives in their businesses, or expanding installations that were already in place. Among those results, however, relatively few of those polled thought that they would have their projects up and running, or even out to proof-of-concept status by 2020. To be specific, that number is now 15-percent lower than the same figure from a survey taken in 2016. That same survey, however, saw 20-percent lower overall adoption rates.
What the data reflects is quite clear; there are concerns and lowered expectations across the board, but more and more businesses are taking the plunge into the IoT world anyway. The bulk of the obstructions cited by those surveyed revolved around two areas - security and data integration. IoT security can be fickle overall, and it's not hard to see why an organization may have a hard time fully ensuring that its IoT device fleet is secure enough to be trusted with critical data and operations. A compromised data handler could leak company information to a third party, and a compromised or faulty physical IoT device could even harm human workers. As for data integration, there are thousands of possible data points and devices in any given deployment, and it can be difficult to properly network everything. That's to say nothing of the challenges involved in pulling, aggregating and interpreting all of that data and then implementing it into the company's workflow.
The relationship between IoT and enterprise has long been a strained one, especially as the IoT space continues to transform through trial and error. The rise and fall of Nest is a particularly compelling exhibit in the argument that IoT in general has a long way to go before it reaches any semblance of market maturity, and many IoT products, such as smart locks, still have serious security flaws.