Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IoT demographics matter, new research shows

Steve Rogerson
July 12, 2018
Research released by the IoT M2M Council (IMC) – a trade association representing 25,000 IoT buyers worldwide – shows there are strong differences in how IoT technology adoption is viewed by OEMs, applications developers and enterprise users.
The results were generated by new queries in the IMC’s Quarterly IoT Buyers’ Index for Q2 2018, a survey of more than 100 individuals from these three categories. The report shows surprisingly clear distinctions between IoT technology buyers in what they view as their biggest hurdles and their timeframes for finishing projects. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that security and privacy issues surrounding connected devices were not among buyers’ top concerns.
“The top three issues among aggregated IoT buyers in this survey were, in order, a lack of business models, a lack of funding and a lack of interoperability or standards,” said IMC executive director Keith Kreisher. “Even more interesting were distinctions between interest groups. OEMs are clearly most interested in standards, a large plurality of apps developers wants to see more business models, and enterprise users’ most common complaint is a lack of funding. We thought we would find differences between these constituencies, but we didn’t know that they would be so strong.”
Security was not a top-three concern for any of the three demographics, while OEMs cited intra-company conflicts as prevalent and apps developers cited talent shortages as a major problem. The three categories also differed strongly on their timeframes for taking IoT projects from start to finish – almost half the enterprise users surveyed said their projects required more than a year, while a similar percentage of apps developers expected to finish projects in less than six months, and data from OEMs showed they resided somewhere in the middle.
“We know of no other group that can collect this kind of data from the people that are actually deploying IoT technology in the field,” said Kreisher. “IMC rank-and-file adopter members cover 24 different vertical markets and from every continent, and we’ve compiled extensive data about them, but this new data show that there is more work to be done in developing personas for IoT users, and using those personas to speed the adoption of the technology.”
The London-based IMC is the largest and fastest-growing trade group dedicated to the global IoT and M2M sector with more than 25,000 members joining since February 2014. Board member companies include 1NCE, Aeris, Arrow, Avnet, BICS, Digi International, HPE, Inmarsat, Intel, Kore, Laird, Orbcomm, MultiTech, Pod M2M, PTC, Re-Teck, Semtech, Sigfox, Tata Communications, Teleena, Telit, U-Blox, Verizon, and Vodafone.
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