IoT Market Progressing, But Challenges, Concerns Remain

The Internet of Things is attracting more activity and interest as public and private organizations seek new ways to take advantage of connectivity, according to a new research brief by CompTIA.

Its brief, “Sizing Up the Internet of Things,” indicates that eight in 10 IT industry executives have taken some action to understand IoT opportunities. Also, one in three executives believes these emerging opportunities will improve their bottom line over the next one to two years.

However, the brief points to a number of ongoing concerns. Some 53 percent of respondents believe the hype surrounding the IoT market has gotten ahead of itself, a rate comparable to the findings in CompTIA’s 2014 survey.

The brief is based on a July survey of executives at 381 U.S. IT companies.

CompTIA's Tim HerbertTim Herbert, CompTIA’s senior vice president of research and market intelligence, tells Channel Partners the key takeaway for the channel is that even if the IoT market today is largely consumer-oriented or niche, over time it will become more relevant to larger segments of channel partners’ customers.

“While there is an expectation that many of the initial market benefits will flow to IoT device vendors, app developers and data analytics firms, there will also be opportunities that align more closely with traditional channel partner strengths,” he said. “The top areas cited include deployment/integration, infrastructure support/networks, reselling IoT products, and security. In some cases, channel partners can think of IoT in terms of just another device on the network to be managed.”

In other scenarios, IoT will “undoubtedly require a higher level approach that factors in elements such as new data streams, analytics and customizing IoT solutions to the specific needs of customers,” Herbert said.

When combined with the percentage of companies that say they’re already making money from IoT product and service sales, about four in 10 expect to see IoT-related revenue in the next two years. Also, four in 10 companies are uncertain of their IoT revenue potential, while 18 percent of firms say they are unlikely to profit from IoT.

“The data points to IoT advances on many fronts, but also confirms that like many markets for emerging technologies, it will take time for IoT to develop,” Herbert said. “Many facets of IoT – standards, governance, security and privacy issues, skilled workers and other matters – need to fall into place before the market can truly blossom.”

According to the CompTIA survey, IoT is expected to have the greatest impact on: controlling and monitoring newly connected devices or systems (53 percent of respondents), collecting new streams of data (46 percent), adding intelligence to previously “dumb” devices or systems (46 percent) and creating new value from connected systems (42 percent).

The IT industry is at the center of much of the current IoT activity, according to the brief. However, IoT’s impact will be felt across every sector of the economy as companies, government entities and other organizations explore new ways to create business opportunities, deliver services and expand connectivity.

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