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CIOs and other business executives that find themselves struggling with Internet of Things (IoT) implementations can at least take solace in the fact in that they aren't alone.
A new survey from networking giant Cisco found that most organizations are still coming to terms with the IoT along with the technical and personnel challenges it brings. Among the 1,845 IT and business decision makers quizzed by the company, only 26 percent said their IoT initiatives were successful.
Yet, failure doesn't necessarily have to completely derail an organization's IoT ambitions. Even when faced with a failed or stalled IoT project, 64 percent said the setback helped accelerate their investments in IoT.
Some of the distinguishing characteristics of the successful firms are a technology-focused culture and a willingness to seek out IoT expertise by developing internal and external partnerships. Generally, they also exhibit heightened levels of collaboration between their IT departments and business units.
And there are some stark differences in what IT and business executives consider a successful IoT initiative, suggesting that getting both on the same page is critical to success.
Thirty-five percent of IT executives said their IoT projects were a success, a number that dips to 15 percent among business leaders. Their conflicting priorities offer a clue into why this disconnect exists.
IT executives are typically and somewhat unsurprisingly focused on technologies, organizational culture, technical expertise and vendors. Business executives, meanwhile, place greater importance on strategy, business cases, processes and milestones, Cisco's survey found.
Those who reported slow progress in their IoT projects cited a lack of internal expertise, budget overruns and lengthy completion times. Technical hurdles include integrating various systems and the quality of the data generated by their setups.
At least for now, there's also no getting around the fact that many IoT deployments are complex. A majority (60 percent) of respondents said that although IoT initiatives look good in theory, in practice they run into unexpected complications.
While daunting, getting it right can pay off for businesses.
Most organizations (73 percent) are using their IoT data to improve their business. Nearly half (47 percent) are using that data to improve the quality or performance of their products and 46 percent are using it to enhance their decision-making capabilities.
Forty-five percent are using the data to lower operational costs while 44 percent are improving their customer interactions or coming up with new ways foster customer engagement. Finally, 42 percent said their IoT data was helping reduce maintenance and downtime.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.