Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Cisco survey finds nearly 75% of IoT projects fail to meet objectives

Cisco has released the findings of its survey evaluating Internet of Things (IoT) projects worldwide at the annual IoT World Forum (IoTWF) event in London.

Cisco noted that IDC predicts the installed base of IoT endpoints will rise from 14.9 billion at the end of 2016 to over 82 billion in 2025, but finds in its survey that 60% of IoT initiatives stall at the proof of concept (PoC) stage and only 26% of companies consider IoT initiative to have been a complete success.

For the study, designed to assess the success of, and challenges faced, in implementing IoT initiatives, Cisco surveyed 1,845 IT and business decision-makers in the U.S., UK and India in a range of industries spanning manufacturing, local government, retail/hospitality/sports, energy, transportation and health care. Respondents were from organisations engaged in implementing or that have completed IoT initiatives. Key findings of the survey are outlined below.

The human factor

Cisco finds that while IoT may seem to be about technology, human factors such as culture, organisation and leadership are critical, with three of the four top factors behind successful IoT projects linked to people and relationships. Specifically, it found that collaboration between IT and the business side was the top success factor, cited by 54% of respondents, while a technology-focused culture, based on top-down leadership and executive sponsorship, cited as key by 49% of respondents. In addition, IoT expertise was selected as key by 48% of respondents.

The survey also highlighted that organisations with the most successful IoT initiatives worked with ecosystem partners at each phase of projects, from strategic planning to data analytics after rollout.

Cisco notes that IT decision-makers are more likely to rate IoT initiatives as successful, with 35% of IT decision-makers calling IoT initiatives a 'complete success', but only 15% of business decision-makers of the same view.

Partner for success

Cisco finds that 60% of respondents stressed that IoT initiatives prove far more difficult than expected, with the top 5 challenges cited as time to completion, limited internal expertise, quality of data, integration across teams, and budget overruns. It was found that successful organisations work with the IoT ecosystem at each stage of projects.

Leveraging smart-data insights

Cisco reports that 73% of participants use data from completed IoT projects to improve their business. Globally, the top 3 benefits of IoT include improved customer satisfaction (70%), operational efficiencies (67%) and improved product/service quality (66%). In addition, improved profitability was found to be the leading unexpected benefit (39%).

Learn from the failures

Finally, Cisco finds that IoT projects also resulted in a further unexpected benefit, with 64% of respondents agreeing that experience gained from stalled or failed IoT initiatives helped to accelerate the organisation's investment in IoT.

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