Security is the biggest barrier to IoT adoption

Black IoT blocks on wooden desk

Security is putting businesses off adopting Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives, new research reveals, with 50 per cent of IT business leaders citing "increase exposure of data" and "information security" as the biggest barriers.

Falling just below cybersecurity concerns were worries about making a business case for IoT and getting a return on investment, cited by 43 per cent of 200 respondents to the IoT adoption survey by IT staffing firm TEKsystems.

Finding the right staff and skill sets, securing budget, early-stage technology and an inability to cope with an increase in data were also included in the list.

Jason Hayman, TEKsystems research manager, said: "Organisations who are able to successfully implement IoT projects to better understand their business and customers will be positioned to make more strategic and informed decisions. However, only a minority of organisations have adopted IoT initiatives, despite a majority recognising the potentially transformational impact these project will have on their business.

"Part of this measured adoption is likely due to a lack of confidence that IoT initiatives can be handled internally, and concerns over information security, ROI and interoperability with current systems."

While 42 per cent of respondents said they were considering introducing IoT to their business, only 22 per cent said they were actually implementing an initiative.

As for the IoT's potential, just 13 per cent believe it will have a "transformational impact," while 42 per cent said it should achieve a "significant impact".

Better user experience was cited as the biggest expected outcome of IoT initiatives (64 per cent), with innovation (56 per cent) and more efficient working practices and business processes (52 per cent) coming second and third.

"Organisations that are able to develop strong partnerships internally between IT and business leadership, and externally with key staffing and services providers, will be more successful and efficient in moving through the project phases and delivering meaningful results for the business," Hayman added.

Earlier this month, Gartner warned that IoT sprawl could potentially threaten security, costing businesses around 20 per cent of their security budgets. Additionally companies may be tempted to cut corners in order to keep projects on schedule, leading to costly security weaknesses.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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