The biggest IoT stumbling blocks

51 percent of companies in the DACH region have already implemented their own IoT projects. At the same time, there are still reservations and fears about entering the Internet of Things. What are the biggest stumbling blocks for companies – and how can they be overcome?
IDG Studie Internet of Things 2020
Study "Internet of Things 2020"
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IoT stumbling blocks

Despite the continuing triumph of the Internet of Things, many companies still have reservations about broad-based IoT activities – especially with regard to data protection (37%) and security (33%), as shown by the study “Internet of Things 2020” by IDG/Computerwoche. These two obstacles even come before the issue of costs (30%), which ranked third.

Getting familiar with the cloud

There is great concern about security holes that could be used as a gateway for hacker and DDoS attacks. Here, aspects such as industrial espionage, legal problems or compliance with guidelines relating to GDPR also play a role. Cloud solutions and automated security  measures can help. To achieve this, companies need to become more familiar with cloud use itself. It is up to cloud providers and the supporting experts to take away unnecessary fears from decision makers with their know-how.

Optimize costs

In times of tight budgets, the question of an IoT project’s costs is completely legitimate – where at the same time, the Internet of Things’ biggest promise is saving costs. In this case, IoT partners are called upon to provide proof of concepts or MVPs (Minimal Viable Products) to show how current processes and applications can be specifically optimized using IoT. Advance technical and economic feasibility studies provide information on the extent to which the investment in IoT is worthwhile. And as far as a positive ROI is concerned, this is primarily achieved through the rapid roll-out of an IoT solution.

To achieve this, we recommend relying on ready-to-use components from proven IoT providers. Standard components accelerate the networking of devices and systems. They can easily be supplemented with individual features, tailored to the company’s requirements. In a way, they are two sides of the same coin: standard components allow quick entry into IoT, while company-specific functions offer unique added value. Both together ensure the success of an IoT project.

Opening application fields – and scaling

Regardless of whether the Internet of Things is used to improve ongoing business processes or to innovate entire business areas: there are enough fields of application – contrary to widespread skepticism, as identified by the COMPUTERWOCHE study (21%). Just to name a few examples of connected devices in long-established companies: Thyssenkrupp boasted over 100,000 networked lifts in 2019, while the shipping company Maersk equipped 280.000 refrigerated containers with IoT tracking solutions to track the location of the goods in real-time around the globe.

“Borrow” IoT specialists

As soon as an application area for an IoT application is identified, decision makers are inevitably faced with the question: buy or DIY? Most people want to handle the implementation of an IoT project largely on their own. Despite or precisely because of this, the lack of know-how among employees, including IT departments themselves, represents a major challenge (27%, COMPUTERWOCHE study). In the long term, it is therefore key that companies provide the necessary expertise through training and further education programs, including their employees along the way.

Companies do not have to remain alone with their IoT strategies. Numerous IoT service providers offer their help from business case and solution design to implementation and ongoing operation of an IoT solution. Above all, however, reputable providers have concrete practical experience in implementing complex IoT projects. This is important to ensure that any new development works perfectly in day-to-day business.

In addition to technological skills, an IoT service provider should be familiar with the special requirements of a market, industry or project environment. Only those who understand the problem situation in detail, have suitable approaches to solving it and can provide confirmed experience in the IoT context will successfully help companies to transform ideas into profitable IoT applications.

To conclude: overcoming obstacles

For most companies the topic of IoT is a young one. Thus, it is not surprising that many a stumbling block must be cleared before the dawn of the digital age gains momentum. Whether fears about cyber security, a lack of IoT specialists or a limited budget – every reservation is legitimate but can be overcome with the support of experienced IoT experts and the necessary level of innovative spirit and entrepreneurial courage.

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