The results of a recent survey suggest that enterprises are eagerly embracing IoT, strategically and that implementations are proceeding apace. However, as I reported recently, Gartner has IoT at the peak of inflated expectations and is warning that early users are “encountering issues related to immature technologies, ecosystems and standards.”
After the peak comes the trough of disillusionment and, if the survey data on enterprises’ enthusiasm for IoT is to be believed, expectations are extremely high. So if the hype cycle trajectory is followed, disillusion could be deep and protracted. Is IoT heading for a fall? That would be very unfortunate.
MuleSoft, a developer of application program interface (API) software has surveyed 300 IT decision makers to assess how organisations are implementing and planning for APIs, IoT and other connected technologies.
Its Connectivity Benchmark Report The Enterprise’s Connected Future: APIs on the Rise says: “Most are adopting the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A large number of organisations are integrating wearables, like smart watches. APIs are at the center of this business transformation, which is driven by cloud, mobile and IoT.”
IoT ‘very important’ for business plans
Certainly IoT featured prominently in responses. Asked: “How important is IoT to your organisation’s business plans in the next 12 months?” 45.7 percent said “very important”. The industries with the biggest focus on IoT were: financial services, media and telecommunications and healthcare.
Seventy seventy percent of organisations said they already had an IoT strategy. That was an average. The figure was higher in the leading organisations: computer (84 percent) healthcare (83 percent) and financial services (79 percent).
Asked “Which will be the most important to your organisation’s business plans in the next 12 months?” 30.3 percent said software as a service. IoT was in fourth place, ranked most important by 8.3 percent of respondents.
Asked to name their top integration priority in the next 12 months? (the area of particular interest to MuleSoft) respondents again put SaaS in first place: it was rated most important by 24.0 percent. IoT was again in fourth place after business intelligence/data analytics and API development for self-serve IT.
Interestingly responses to the question “What are the main drivers of your organization’s IoT strategy?” Reinforce what I said in this post about IoT having already gained wide acceptance as a new tool for marketing and customer relationships.
Customer engagement the No 1 IoT application
‘Improving customer experience & engagement’ was the most popular driver, cited by 41 percent of respondents. It was followed by ‘Improving business operations & maintenance’ (38 percent), ‘Creating new products or services’ (11percent) and ‘Track & control inventory stock’ (9.5 percent).
Wearables are also being enthusiastically exploited. Seventy percent of respondents said their organisations were either integrating wearables or planed to do so in the next 12 months. Thirty eight percent of financial organisations surveyed are already doing so.
Jonathan Stern, regional VP for MuleSoft suggests that IoT implementations are far from piecemeal, and that enterprises are preparing to make IoT a key part of their IT systems. “We see organisations putting in place the platforms to be ready for IoT,” he said. “Gone are the days of organisations building big monolithic systems. It’s all about putting in the platforms to enable them to move quickly. It’s certain that business processes will change, and what we see is them putting an agility layer in place to allow them to respond more quickly.
With, as Gartner says, early users of IoT “encountering issues related to immature technologies, ecosystems and standards,” flexibility will be the order of the day.