The internet of things (IoT) can simply be explained as the embedding of computer and communications systems into everyday objects. Enabling them to be tracked, controlled or to exchange data. Improving efficiencies and accuracy for anything from smart cars to heart monitors.
The IoT is predicted to have a massive impact on all industries. And something that IT needs to have its eyes on.
The IT departments of Australian companies are not well equipped to deal with the expected rapid growth in the Internet of Things, according to a survey undertaken by network management software company SolarWinds.
Skills shortages and concerns about cyber security were the two most frequently cited barriers to IoT by the 200 survey respondents. Concerns about the adequacy of data privacy legislation, network capacity and managing the increasing complex networks that IoT will create were also rated as significant barriers.
The study explored current level of preparedness for Australian IT departments to meet the complex challenges and opportunities created by the IoT.
About fifty percent of respondents said that more and different skills would be needed in the IT department to handle IoT. Around half of the respondents said that the workforce was able to meet the demand for IoT skills “to a limited extent”.
Strangely, while respondents rated IT departments as being not well prepared for IoT, around 50 percent also identified these departments as the business units driving IoT in the Australian workplace. Only about 10 percent saw the push for IoT as coming from the top.
However other surveys have identified IoT has being on the strategic radar for many Australian companies. In one recent survey, Australian organisations were asked “How important is IoT to your organisation’s business plans in the next 12 months?” Forty six percent said “very important”, and 77 percent said they already had an IoT strategy.
Another survey, of 500 IT and marketing professionals in large and mid-size companies reported: “Forty percent are using machine data (IoT) to support digital marketing. … Nearly 20 percent are being very aggressive this way, and another 27 percent plan to begin an IoT project for digital marketing soon.”
In contrast, only about 10 percent of respondents to the SolarWinds survey identified marketing and sales as being drivers of IoT.
What none of the surveys seem to have done is to try and elicit from respondents what they understand IoT to mean, or to try and assess their overall understanding of what is still a very young industry, and one with very many potential applications across almost every industry.
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