A recent CompTIA report highlights the IoT trends that will dominate 2019 — and what it means for businesses investing in wholesale digital transformation.
Businesses across the spectrum are investing in large-scale digital transformation projects, a great many of which hinge on the ability of a surging Internet of Things (IoT) market to deliver cutting-edge technologies. With Bain projecting that global IoT spending will climb to $520 billion by 2021, the market certainly has access to the capital necessary to make good.
A recent report out of the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) sheds additional light on how the IoT market is expected to evolve in 2019. From a growing interest in comprehensive IoT ecosystems to new methods for projecting IoT costs, CompTIA’s research reveals a healthy market landscape amidst an exciting moment of cross-industry technological disruption.
Evaluating the IoT Ecosystem as a Whole
While much focus has been given to the hardware, the IoT systems that deliver actionable intelligence and real ROI require more than sensors and connected assets. IoT hardware drives value only to the extent that it’s integrated into larger organizational processes. And according to CompTIA’s report, this is one area where existing IoT projects have historically fallen short — organization’s lack the personnel, the knowledge, the expertise to fully capitalize on their technology.
CompTIA’s report shows that businesses still have ground to cover in 2019 to close essential knowledge gaps. For example, less than 15% of enterprises reported high expertise with any single aspect of the IoT ecosystem.
Rethinking Implementation of IoT Projects
CompTIA’s research also identifies the need for a fundamental reconceptualization of what IoT implementation means for organizations as a whole. Businesses are beginning to recognize that IoT projects need to be implemented as company-wide endeavors, rather than under the auspices of IT or OT departments alone.
The research shows that 63% of companies with IoT initiatives underway report that they’re working the technology into existing business processes. For organizations planning IoT projects for 2019, this metric underscores the importance of enabling inter-departmental collaboration when introducing new tech to existing processes.
Understanding IoT Costs and Benefits
CompTIA identifies a clear need for businesses to establish clear objectives, measurables, and protocols for determining ROI against project costs — which can be considerable. CompTIA’s research shows that 43% of companies find upfront costs to be a major hurdle and that 34% cite it as an ongoing barrier to implementation.
However, 2019 may see evolving attitudes toward the benefits of IoT. While many decision-makers are looking at the technology as a means to cut costs (35%), a growing number of them (31%) now view it as a potential way to drive new revenue.
“An Internet of Things strategy requires new technology along with new business processes and collaboration.”
Investing in IoT Skills and Security
Finally, CompTIA identifies growing interest in the skills needed to make IoT projects a success — and to ensure that they don’t pose short- or long-term cybersecurity issues for organizations. While businesses interested in IoT technology have, in the past, been on the lookout for specific roles such as IoT architects and IoT security specialists, CompTIA points out that the skills required to implement, manage, and secure IoT systems can often be found within existing IT departments.
For small and mid-sized businesses, however, securing this talent may pose a greater challenge. Accordingly, the report notes that — in terms of the IoT ecosystem — 83% of companies are using a third party for software services. The continued growth of a reliable market of vendors capable of supporting IoT implementations represents a key component of the technology’s ability to drive value for these businesses going forward.
Read the full report here: 2019 Trends in Internet of Things.