IDC: 5 Signs The IoT Market Is On The Verge Of Explosion

The Enterprise Is Slowly But Surely Embracing Internet of Things

The Internet of Things market is on the verge of explosion, according to a report from market research firm IDC.

IDC's report, which is in its third year, questioned more than 4,500 enterprises about their perception of IoT as well as their early deployments or plans for deployment of IoT offerings. The survey also spanned several vertical industries, including manufacturing, retail, utilities, government, healthcare and finance.

Following are five insights from IDC on the Internet of Things that solution providers should know.

More Adoption Of IoT In The Enterprise

According to IDC's report, 31 percent of organizations have launched IoT offerings incorporating cloud, analytics and security capabilities. That percentage will only increase – up to 43 percent of companies said they are looking to deploy solutions in the next 12 months.

"I think we're moving past the early nascency [of IoT], and organizations are really starting to understand the benefits that IoT can bring," Carrie MacGillivray, vice president of mobility and Internet of Things at IDC, told CRN.

Businesses View The Internet of Things As Strategic

Enterprises are realizing the value of IoT to their businesses – IDC also found that 55 percent of respondents see IoT as strategic to their business as a means to compete more effectively.

"There's a lot of education taking place in the market, and now IoT is such a hot topic that customers are talking about it with vendors or attending events to learn more," said MacGillivray.

Enterprises listed productivity improvements, reduced costs, and automated internal processes as top benefits of IoT offerings – highlighting an internal and operational focus by organizations over the short term as opposed to external, customer-facing benefits, noted IDC's report.

Challenges Remain In Enterprise Adoption

Though many organizations view IoT as critical to their business strategy, there are still challenges – many organizations cited lack of internal skills, as well as security, as top concerns in deploying an IoT solution.

"Setting strategies, finding budgets, and supporting IoT solutions have contributed to an ongoing tussle between line-of-business executives and CIOs," said Vernon Turner, senior vice president of Enterprise Systems and IDC Fellow for the Internet of Things. "However, that race may be over, because in many cases line-of-business executives are now both leading the discussions and either paying in full or sharing the costs of IoT initiatives with the CIOs."

Systems Integrators Are Playing A Bigger Role In IoT Leadership

As the Internet of Things market continues to grow, MacGillivray noted that a strong partner ecosystem is essential – and many enterprises actually perceive the channel and system integrators to play an increasingly important role.

"We have been looking at the system integrators' role, and we believe it plays an increasingly important role due to their strong positioning," she said. "We're seeing the rise of analytics vendors and system integrators as perceived leaders [by customers]."

'It's All About The Data'

In addition to systems integrators, more enterprises are seeing vendors leading with an integrated cloud and analytics offering as "critical partners" in an organization's IoT investment, IDC found.

Meanwhile, network and traditional hardware vendors are "slipping down the charts," as customers realize that opportunities in IoT revolve around the data, the survey found.

"[We're seeing] the rise of analytics vendors and system integrators as perceived leaders," MacGillivray said. "Meanwhile, IT hardware and network vendors are falling in terms of how they're perceived as leaders … customers are realizing that IoT is all about the data."