Can the Internet of Things give you a competitive edge? 71% of IT decision-makers for companies with 1,000 to 3,000 employees say yes, their IoT strategy gives them an advantage. But this and other gains from the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications come with big challenges that smaller businesses must overcome, such as building IoT/M2M devices and deployments. These issues and insights were gathered by research firm Vanson Bourne for Aeris in a study now available. We had 300 executives from the United States and the United Kingdom polled to examine IoT’s perceived impact on business in the year ahead, as well as to determine how perspectives on IoT have evolved since 2013.
Of particular interest are the responses from executives in smaller organizations, as opposed to those in business with over 3,000 employees. Business in the 1,000 to 3,000 person range are often resource-constrained, and this shows through in their responses to survey questions around IoT/M2M hardware, data collection, and systems integration. IT departments at smaller companies aren’t always prepared for the rapid scaling required when IoT/M2M deployments grow to thousands of devices worldwide in a matter of months.
Challenges for IoT in Small Business
Most of the smaller companies surveyed – 77% – agree that building the IoT devices and sensor hardware is a problem. And once that hardware is available, ensuring pervasive connectivity, provisioning, and device management continues to be a challenge for 74% the execs at smaller organizations. The complexities don’t stop there. Developing the IoT application and enabling it for different platforms is a big concern. In particular, US respondents find this to be an increasing difficulty, with 80% agreeing that application enablement was an issue today, over the 66% that responded in 2013. Similarly, 79% of those in smaller organizations find integrating the IoT application with enterprise-wide data and application systems is an obstacle. Finally, when the IoT/M2M deployment is up and running, businesses have to deal with the data generated, and 71% of companies under 3,000 employees find this challenging to do so.
IoT Opportunities on the Horizon
But despite these concerns, business leaders seem positive about the future – 72% of those in smaller businesses say that IoT will provide them with the opportunity to better meet their business objectives in the next year. This is a significant increase over 2013, when only 59% believed IoT was of help to their business.
Want to see more details from this survey? Download our infographic that shows the top takeaways.