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The Internet of Things (IoT) may have captured the IT industry's imagination but enterprises need a little more convincing before they take the plunge, suggests a new data from market research firm Gartner.
This year, 43 percent of organizations will either already be using the IoT or be implementing it within their environments, according to Gartner's survey of 465 IT and business professionals. The number includes those that have already deployed IoT technologies (29 percent) and those that plan to do so (14 percent) in 2016. Another 21 percent said they plan to adopt IoT solutions after 2016.
"Heavy" industries, including utilities, energy suppliers and manufacturers are leading the charge, with 56 percent of businesses in those categories indicating that they will have implemented IoT by year's end. "Up until now, the leading adopters of IoT have been more the industrial, heavy-industry-type businesses" involved in mining, manufacturing and the like, Gartner research Chet Geschickter, told Datamation.
In general, they are pursuing internal benefits, said Geschickter. These include optimizing operations, reducing costs and improving efficiency. The IoT is approaching an "inflection point," he added, where organizations are starting to focus on external benefits, including generating revenues from "IoT-enabled products, services and customer experiences."
Geschickter noted that demand from consumer- and service-oriented companies in "light" industries is picking up. By the end of the current year, 36 percent of these businesses will have implemented IoT technologies.
Eventually, most organizations (64 percent) will jump on the IoT bandwagon. Yet a significant minority, 38 percent, said they have no plans to embrace IoT, including the nine percent that feel IoT bears no relevance to their businesses. Among respondents who believe the IoT is relevant but still do not plan to use it, 70 percent cited unclear business benefits as the main reason they're holding back.
"It's a huge barrier," Geschickter said. Without a grasp the IoT's potential return on investment (ROI), many business leaders are avoiding the IoT hype train.
Some of the hype is warranted, according to Geschickter. Though hyper-connected smart cities and homes are still a ways off, some enterprises are already enjoying some of the IoT's benefits. "So far in our investigations, the number one benefit has been around energy efficiency," he reported.
The IoT is also helping businesses keep their expensive capital equipment running better and longer. "We are seeing some benefits in predictive maintenance and preventing asset failure," he added.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datmation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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