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94% enterprises will use IoT by end 2021: Microsoft report

  • For 88% of adopters, IoT is critical to the success of their respective businesses
  • Nearly nine in 10 (85%) have at least one IoT project in either the learning, proof of concept, purchase, or use phase

The Internet of Things (IoT) is seen as profitable and critical to business success and is creating opportunities to leverage more advanced cloud and networking technologies, according to Microsoft's new report IoT Signals.

The report provides an insight on the state of IoT adoption, and how a company can better serve its partners and customers, as well as help business leaders in development of their own IoT strategies. Microsoft surveyed more than 3,000 IoT decision-makers in enterprise organizations to give the industry a holistic, market-level view of the IoT ecosystem, including adoption rates, related technology trends, challenges and benefits of IoT.

According to the report, nearly nine in 10 (85%) surveyed say they have at least one IoT project in either the learning, proof of concept, purchase, or use phase, with many reporting they have one or more projects currently in ‘use’.

Adoption is expected to increase with 94% of businesses saying they will be using IoT by the end of 2021, while 88% of adopters say IoT is critical to the success of their respective companies.

Businesses adopting IoT believe they will see a 30% return on investment on their IoT projects going forward. As they look ahead, respondents believe critical technology drivers for IoT success in the next two years include artificial intelligence, edge computing and 5G, followed by digital twins and blockchain.

Nearly all respondents (97%) have security concerns while implementing IoT, but this is not hindering adoption. Internet connectivity is a two-way street. With these devices becoming a gateway to our homes, workplaces, and industries, they also become targets for attacks. The cost of a data breach averages between $4 million and $8 million, and the costs only compound as one thinks about additional damage to one's brand and to the operational technology driving one's business’s revenue.

The top three security concerns found among IoT adopters include creating strong user authentications (43%), tracking and managing each IoT device (38%) and securing endpoints for each IoT device (38%).

There is a skills gap for IoT solutions that is compounded by complexity of solutions. Almost half (47%) say there are not enough available skilled workers and one in four (38%) IoT adopters cite complexity/technical challenges to using IoT as a barrier to further their IoT adoption. Existing IoT complexities and lack of resources prevent IoT decision makers from more IoT adoption, and 20% cite complexity/technical challenges as a top challenge.

Microsoft surveyed more than 3,000 IoT decision makers in enterprise organizations to give the industry a holistic, market-level view of the IoT ecosystem, including adoption rates, related technology trends, challenges and benefits of IoT.

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