IT decision makers name security as the number one barrier to implementing and exploiting an Internet of Things (IoT) initiative, according to in-depth research by V3 sister site Computing.
The extension of internet functionality to billions of ‘things' that are currently unaware of their surroundings, such as household appliances, cars, doors and vending machines, is increasingly talked about in the IT industry.
But while many have promoted the idea of machine-to-machine interaction and the IoT changing the world, there is a debate as to the constituents of an IoT initiative and whether it really can be exploited by organisations.
Computing asked IT decision makers to identify the main barriers when implementing or exploiting an IoT initiative, using a multiple choice format.
Device or data security was named as a factor by 39 per cent of respondents, while 34 per cent named a lack of clarity of purpose or understanding of the benefits.
Privacy tracking and the perception of ‘big brother' surveillance, as well as information governance and legislation, were named by 27 per cent.
Two problems regularly discussed with regard to the IoT - interoperability and a lack of standards - were cited by 25 per cent.
Meanwhile, 24 per cent pointed to costs, a lack of skills, or choosing the right technology, and 21 per cent said user acceptance, perhaps in relation to the ‘big brother' effect mentioned earlier.
Other factors included understanding the technology (21 per cent), managing data (20 per cent), legacy infrastructure (16 per cent), lack of resources on the ground for installation (14 per cent) and communications (10 per cent).
Implementing other projects or technologies at the same time is a barrier for 13 per cent, while some IT decision makers are worried that their organisation won't know where to stop, and that it could be a case of 'too much too soon'.
Only three per cent said that there were no barriers to successfully implementing and exploiting an IoT initiative.
Computing's in-depth research included a nationwide online quantitative survey completed by over 350 IT decision makers representing organisations ranging in size from 100 employees to many thousands.
Industries represented included banking and finance, technology, healthcare, education and media.
Spending on IoT security is expected to reach $348m in 2016, and several major technology companies are well into initiatives in this area.
SAS recently launched Analytics for IoT, despite the fact that CEO Jim Goodnight said only a month before the launch that he wasn't aware of any major SAS IoT customers.
For the full results of Computing's research, and to hear how companies are exploiting the IoT, come along to the Computing Internet of Things Business Summit on 12 May in London. It's free for end users.
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