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Industry is 12 months out from mass IoT adoption, says IDC

An IDC survey of global IT decision-makers reveals that almost three-quarters have either deployed or plan to deploy internet of things systems in the coming year

The internet of things (IoT) is beginning to show clear signs of picking up rapid momentum, according to analysts at IDC, who have revealed that 73% of decision-makers have already deployed an IoT system of some kind within their business, or plan to within the next 12 months.

IDC’s latest research said the potential of the IoT would be realised not in homes but in enterprises, both in terms of volume spending and the total number of endpoints connected to the internet, which is rapidly heading into the billions.

“Momentum continues to grow and our survey shows that it is seen as strategic to the enterprise,” said IDC IoT senior vice-president and research fellow Vernon Turner.

“IDC's 2015 survey shows the regional differences in terms of awareness, adoption and plans for implementation,” added IoT and mobile vice-president Carrie MacGillivray.

“With nearly 2,500 survey respondents from 15 countries, including the US, Brazil, China, India and Germany, we are able to provide quantifiable evidence that the IoT is a not just a concept, but a real global accelerator of the third platform.”

As other studies that have gone before have shown, the IoT is seeing the most traction in manufacturing industries, where machine-to-machine (M2M) communications are an established element of a factory IT environment, and in retail, where IT departments are rushing to adopt innovative services to win back traffic from online rivals.

A full 58% of respondents to IDC’s survey said they considered the IoT a strategic initiative, with 24% viewing it as transformative. Healthcare, transport and manufacturing were the most likely to see the IoT as strategic to their businesses.

Public sector lagged in overall awareness, and respondents here often needed more information on the basics of the IoT.

IDC also identified a number of other emerging trends affecting the IoT market. Security remained a leading challenge but is now no longer the biggest issue having an effect on deployments, with CIOs worrying more about meeting upfront and ongoing costs.

A further emerging challenge in the coming months will be the support of IoT processing power at the edge of the network, compared with processing back at the enterprise, which may affect many IoT architecture designs.

There also appears to be something of a shift taking place in terms of which suppliers own the IoT deployment – whereas a similar survey conducted in 2014 by IDC revealed that hardware suppliers tended to be taking the lead, software suppliers are now beginning to overtake them.

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