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The slow but steady uptake of enterprise IoT

22 Jul 2015

With the Internet of Things (IoT) receiving a lot of attention, it can be easy to think everything from sneakers to servers is becoming connected in a seamless fashion, says Red Hat, the open-source software company.

In consumer technology land, this capability isn’t too far from the truth, especially with the growth of near ubiquitous Wi-Fi and an increasing emphasis on social shareability.

However, for enterprise IoT, changes aren’t as simple. The information lifecycle is more complex and IoT’s impact can be transformational, says Red Hat.

According to a recent Red Hat survey, enterprises are being deliberate when it comes to implementing IoT solutions.

The survey polled IT decision makers and professionals from a variety of organisations, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to state and local governments, and was conducted by TechValidate.

Of those surveyed, only 12% of respondents are currently in the process of rolling out an IoT solution.

Far from being a negative, this mirrors the typical enterprise adoption of new technologies, with project roll-outs often taking far longer than they may in smaller organisations or in the consumer world, says Red Hat.

This timeline can sometimes be sped up with the right technology, as IT decision-makers and buyers will often hold on project implementations until they know for sure that a given product will meet their needs, both for the short term and the future, Red Hat says.

This does not mean, however, that there is no interest in IoT at the enterprise level, says Red Hat.

In fact, 43% of respondents feel that IoT is immediately important to their business, and 46% of respondents are currently working with IoT in some regard, whether exploring and evaluating the technologies or experimenting and prototyping.

Overall, there is value seen in enterprise IoT, even from IT departments that have not yet begun projects. This is particularly true when it comes to operations improvements (65% of respondents) and process optimisation (51% of respondents), the survey showed.

As for technology drivers behind IoT, open source is the workhorse of choice among survey respondents, says Red Hat. 

The majority of respondents (86%) said open source would play a role in their IoT projects.

"While this survey shows that enterprise IoT is behind the consumer world in the hype cycle, it’s important to note that this is not due to a lack of interest or understanding of IoT’s benefits.

"Rather, it’s another symptom of enterprises being thorough with technology buying decisions, as well as actual implementations," Red Hat says.

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