IoT adoption: moving at a snail's pace

Despite being hailed as one of the hottest technological trends which was “set to dominate 2017” according to Forbes, IoT is still not transforming lives and businesses at the rate we all imagined it would. A recent report from IDC estimates that there will be over 82 billion connected devices by 2025, which leaves us with only one question; why is adoption so slow?

Part of the problem is due to the lack of collaborations between big corporations and smaller IoT-focused companies. The smaller companies that know the ins and outs of this technology are not able to do business on the same scale as big corporations, and these corporations do not have the know-how to launch IoT products and projects. The solution? More collaborations, please!

The current IoT Market Map is lacking big corporate names.

Over the past year, we’ve seen a few IoT partnerships crop up, such as IBM and Bosch, who announced a global collaboration to combine the power of open standards-based Watson Internet of Things (IoT) with Bosch IoT Suite’s capabilities, or Cisco and Dutch lighting giant Philips Lighting, who are increasingly connecting their products together to provide customers with a richer experience. We hope 2018 will bring us even more collaborations and exciting IoT projects.

Another reason for the delay in IoT adoption is arguably due to the lack of collaboration between the IT world and the business world. Not only are corporations failing to release new IoT products, but they’re also wary of transforming their business models, despite the huge opportunities for growth and profitability. Whilst technology undoubtedly plays a huge role in digital transformation, there also needs to be significant changes in the hierarchy of companies, as well their values regarding leadership and talent. By allowing our business models to undergo digital transformation, we’re taking one small step for man and one huge step for IoT.

The rise in hacks on IoT devices is also an issue that raises concerns about this technology. Should we be worried about our homes or cars being hacked? Are we putting our lives into danger by connecting everything we use to the Internet, where they are vulnerable to keyboard warriors? Possibly, but it’s also important that we point out that new cybersecurity companies are appearing daily, companies who are dedicated to the cause and who are helping to secure the vast IoT ecosystem and all of its increased connectivity and complexity.

Is hacking the world easier now thanks to IoT devices?

Another suggestion as to why IoT adoption is behind, may be due to the overwhelming amount of IoT products that are being released. There are currently tons of individual appliances and apps on the market but very few solutions to tie them all together into a single, seamless user friendly experience. To quote Cisco on this matter, “We are connecting things that we never thought would be connected, creating incredible new value to industries.” But the most important thing now is to start creating synergies between these IoT innovations so that adoption picks up rapidly.

To conclude, perhaps 2017 wasn’t the year of IoT, but we’ve seen some important milestones for this incredibly innovative technology over the past year. Perhaps in 2018, we’ll overcome even more of the challenges that IoT is currently facing and see a surge in adoption.