A whopping 94 per cent of UK businesses are investing in initiatives to prepare for the Internet of Things (IoT), according to research commissioned by Webroot and datacentre firm IO.
The cybersecurity specialist asked research house OnePoll to survey 500 CEOs and senior decision makers in the UK for a report entitled IoT: Risk or Reward? According to the results, 60 per cent of those questioned are increasing their investment in IoT projects and by an average of 42 per cent.
They also revealed this investment was to gain increased revenues and greater competitive advantage. Half of those businesses (54 per cent) said they plan to employ a chief IoT officer in the coming year, with the highest-scoring verticals being education (63 per cent), retail (63 per cent), and telecoms (64 per cent).
In addition, 68 per cent of those questioned said they expect to reap benefits from their IoT investments this year, up from one in five that claimed to be seeing benefits today.
The bulk of the investment is going on network infrastructure, with 71 per cent agreeing that this is a primary focus area. A further 24 per cent said their current IT infrastructure is a barrier to successful IoT adoption. Andrew Roughan, director at IO, said:
"We are definitely seeing a move in enterprises. In recent years, we have seen a large and growing infrastructure investment to build digital infrastructures for the future. We haven’t seen the tipping point yet in terms of how that has been utilised; the type of traffic and utilisation that will flow through both datacentres’ network infrastructure and devices."
Additionally, the survey asked respondents to name potential barriers to adopting IoT, and the highest scoring concern by far was security, which polled 80 per cent of the votes. Seventy-two per cent said finding people with the right skills to take advantage of the IoT trend, and a third said a lack of skills in the business is preventing innovation around IoT.
Roughan added: “If there were doubts about just how seriously UK businesses are taking IoT in 2016, this research goes a long way to dispelling them. The fact is that everywhere you look, companies are preparing to reap the potential rewards that they see in the IoT – regardless of their size, location or industry. However, as the IoT evolves in the business world, the pace at which it does so will inevitably be governed by people with the right skills to make it happen.”
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