Security the main obstacle to IoT adoption, decision makers say

The benefits of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are widely recognized among IT leaders. Business efficiency, customer experience, and collaboration are among the key areas that typically see an uptick thanks to connected devices. But many decision makers are holding back adoption due to security concerns, new research shows.

A survey by IoT advocate Wi-SUN Alliance reveals key drivers, barriers, challenges and benefits to IoT adoption. The company polled 350 IT decision makers in the UK, US, Sweden and Denmark from organizations investing in at least one IoT initiative.

While 94% say they plan to stay competitive by investing heavily in IoT over the next 12 months, most admit they are finding it difficult to jump the hurdles they face on the way there.

Respondents highlighted security as a barrier to IoT adoption, with 59% citing security concerns as the main reason to holding back. Respondents in the US and the UK are more concerned about IoT security than those in Denmark or Sweden.

32% see funding as a barrier and 30% view leadership’s lack of understanding of the benefits of IoT as a challenge. The same one-third reported a lack of commitment from leadership, perhaps stemming from all the listed concerns combined.

Despite these fears, 99% of respondents enjoy benefits from IoT implementations, such as increased business efficiency, improved customer experience, better collaboration, lower costs and faster time to market.

However, delivering IoT also poses a number of technical challenges. Here, respondents again cited security and safety concerns (63%), followed by cumbersome data management (46%), difficult network configuration (41%), recruiting IoT talent (39%), and others.

A supporting infographic accompanies the report (found here).

Reluctance to adopt new technology is typically associated with senior leaders’ fear of the new. However, security concerns involving Internet of Things solutions are not entirely unfounded.

Vendors continue to rush IoT products to market without proper security checks, and many connected devices have inherently vulnerable underlying software that cannot be patched in a timely manner.

Before we proceed to automate our intricate world with IoT solutions, both vendors and early adopters need to better educate themselves on security matters.

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