The report found that there remain concerns around security, lack of funding and commitment when it comes to IoT strategies
The US is ahead of the UK, Sweden and Denmark when it comes to having a fully implemented Internet of Things (IoT) strategy and similarly is also ahead of the other three countries when prioritising IoT enablement, according to a new survey.
The report by the Wi-SUN Alliance, a global member-based association driving the proliferation of interoperable wireless solutions for use in smart cities, smart utilities and other Internet of Things (IoT) applications, also finds that half of organisations investing in IoT initiatives already have a fully implemented strategy in place, while more than one third (36 per cent) have a partially implemented strategy.
A survey of 350 IT decision makers in the UK, US, Sweden and Denmark examining attitudes to IoT, including the drivers, barriers, challenges and benefits, highlights the growing number of smart utilities, smart cities and broader IoT projects in progress.
While respondents report that enabling IoT is the second most important IT priority for the next 12 months, just behind improving security, almost all (90 per cent) of those with an IoT plan at various stages of implementation have struggled to implement this, with over a third (36 per cent) saying they find it “very or extremely difficult”.
The report shows two thirds (65 per cent) of US companies have a fully implemented IoT strategy compared with UK (47 per cent), Sweden (44 per cent) and Denmark (24 per cent) while three quarters (73 per cent) of US companies have prioritised IoT enablement ahead of the UK (64 per cent), Sweden (62 per cent) and Denmark (58 per cent).
Companies are most advanced in the oil and gas industry, with three quarters having a fully implemented strategy, followed by technology (59 per cent) and energy and utilities (57 per cent).
Respondents highlight security as a barrier to IoT adoption. Three fifths cite security concerns, with the US (65 per cent) and UK (64 per cent) far more concerned than those in Denmark or
Sweden. One third (32 per cent) see funding, as well as a lack of commitment from leadership, as barriers, while 30 per cent view leadership’s lack of understanding of the benefits of IoT as a challenge.
“While all organisations taking part had IoT initiatives underway, it’s very encouraging to see that over half have an IoT strategy fully implemented, with the vast majority of those in sectors you’d most closely associate with smart city and smart utility initiatives, such as energy and utilities, as well as oil and gas companies,” said Phil Beecher, president and CEO, Wi-SUN Alliance.
When it comes to the key drivers for IoT implementation, around half (47 per cent) of those surveyed report it will improve ‘network intelligence and connectivity for citizen safety and quality of life’, followed by ‘creating business efficiencies’ (42 per cent) and ‘improving reliability of systems and services’ (41 per cent).
Two-thirds of respondents’ organisations with an IoT strategy report that it covers how IoT can be used to improve the customer experience, while three-fifths say it includes a plan for continuous IoT improvement.
When asked what their organisation looks for when evaluating IoT technologies, three fifths (58 per cent) of respondents look for network topology and coverage, followed by communications performance in terms of latency, bandwidth and bi-directional communication (53 per cent).
“There’s a lot of education still to be done for those looking to implement IoT, smart cities and other IoT initiatives, especially when selecting the right technology,” added Beecher.
“Our advice for those developing, designing or procuring IoT, now or in the future, is to look closely at the reliability they need, the latency, and the security – and to make sure that these match up with the needs and goals of the organisation.”
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