Companies increase IoT adoption and consider security implications

The Internet-of-Things technology first caught on with the consumer sector while companies kept a safe distance. Now, enterprise-level organizations have rapidly started to integrate IoT, encouraged by the positive impact on the business.

Companies, however, also worry about the security implications of implementing and maintaining the technology. This worry, though, is far from being a deal breaker and the course seems already set for most.

An overwhelming majority of decision makers at big companies in the UK, US, Germany, France, China, and Japan agreed that IoT plays a role in the success of the business. Some are confident that IoT adoption will come with a 30% return on investment in a couple of years.

The results are from a 20-minute survey commissioned by Microsoft of over 3,000 business and IT decision makers from a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, retail/wholesale, government, transportation and healthcare. 85% of them are in various stages of integrating IoT – learning, proof-of-concept, purchase or use.

88% of respondents who already have an IoT project say the technology is either “very” or “somewhat” critical to the success of their company. They also believe the success of IoT will be further fueled by other innovations, such as the spread of 5G, the new generation of mobile internet connectivity, developments in the artificial intelligence field or edge computing.

“IoT growth shows no signs of slowing: adoption is projected to increase by 9 points over the next two years, meaning 94% of businesses will be using IoT by the end of 2021,” Microsoft predicts in its IoT Signals report.

The top two reasons that led a company to integrate IoT are optimization of operations and increasing employee productivity. Other answers included safety and security, better management of the supply chain, quality assurance, asset tracking and sales enablement. At the bottom of the list are energy management, condition-based maintenance, and health and wellness.

As many as 97% of the respondents say they’re aware that the technology needs to be secure. The top priority in this area seems to be the management of software and firmware, specifically encryption protocols, hardware and software testing, as well as the update mechanism.

Another valid concern for 38% of the companies questioned is managing and tracking the connected devices and all that stems from this: securing login accounts and the hardware that receives the info from IoT devices. To solve these problems, organizations looking to implement consider adding network-level security solutions.

Image credit: Geralt

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