IoT projects are in a bad shape, Cisco survey says

IoT investmentInternet of Things (IoT) endpoints will grow from 14.9 billion in 2016 to more than 82 billion in 2025, said IDC.

Cisco says 60 percent of IoT initiatives stall at the Proof of Concept (PoC) stage and only 26 percent of companies have had an IoT initiative that they considered a complete success. One third of all completed IoT projects were not considered a success.

“There are plenty of things we can do to get more projects out of pilot and to complete success, and that’s what we’re here in London to do,” said Rowan Trollope, general manager, IoT and Applications, Cisco at IoT World Forum (IoTWF).

Cisco surveyed 1,845 IT and business decision-makers in the United States, UK, and India across a range of industries — manufacturing, local government, retail/hospitality/sports, energy (utilities/oil & gas/mining), transportation, and health care.

IoT may sound like it is all about technology, but human factors like culture, organization, and leadership are critical. In fact, three of the four top factors behind successful IoT projects had to do with people and relationships:

Collaboration between IT and the business side was the #1 factor, cited by 54 percent.

A technology-focused culture, stemming from top-down leadership and executive sponsorship, was called key by 49 percent.

IoT expertise, whether internal or through external partnership, was selected by 48 percent.

Organizations with the most successful IoT initiatives leveraged ecosystem partnerships most widely. They used partners at every phase, from strategic planning to data analytics after rollout.

IT decision-makers place more importance on technologies, organizational culture, expertise, and vendors.

Business decision-makers place greatest emphasis on strategy, business cases, processes, and milestones.

IT decision-makers are more likely to think of IoT initiatives as successful. While 35 percent of IT decision-makers called their IoT initiatives a complete success, only 15 percent of business decision-makers did.

Sixty percent of respondents stressed that IoT initiatives often look good on paper but prove much more difficult than anyone expected. Top five challenges across all stages of implementation: time to completion, limited internal expertise, quality of data, integration across teams, and budget overruns.

73 percent of all participants are using data from IoT completed projects to improve their business. The top 3 benefits of IoT include improved customer satisfaction (70 percent), operational efficiencies (67 percent) and improved product / service quality (66 percent). In addition, improved profitability was the top unexpected benefit (39 percent).

64 percent agreed that learnings from stalled or failed IoT initiatives have helped accelerate their organization’s investment in IoT.

Meanwhile, Cisco announced IoT Threat Defense to secure vital services in advanced medical care, power generation and delivery, and automated manufacturing.

The Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report notes that CISOs find attacks can impact operations, reputation, and revenue. At stake is unauthorized access to networks, data and IP loss, and business shutdown.