Survey Reveals End Users' Priorities for Deploying, Staffing IoT Projects

TEKSystem commissioned a survey of more than 200 IT and business professionals last fall, in order to better understand their IoT strategies and staffing needs.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Feb 02, 2016

Given the growth in corporate investments and interest in Internet of Things technologies in recent years, it should come as no surprise that IT recruitment firm TEKsystems, a subsidiary of Allegis Group, is seeing brisk demand for candidates with expertise in information security, application development, quality assurance and other skills germane to IoT product and service development. In order to better understand that demand, and the degree to which IT and business leaders are thinking about and prioritizing IoT technology rollouts, TEKsystems commissioned a survey in November 2015.

"We wanted to explore how organizations are being impacted by IoT, steps being taken to prepare for IoT near-term initiatives, and what resource barriers and challenges exist in light of their longer-term IoT objectives," explains Christopher Fisher, TEKsystems' communications executive director.

Chris Fisher
All of the survey's 200 respondents have IT or business leadership roles and work for organizations with $250 million or more in annual revenue. The industry sector most represented by the respondent pool is technology, followed by financial services, education, health care, manufacturing, government and telecommunications. TEKsystems defines the IoT as "any Internet-like network of physical objects and infrastructure, containing embedded technology with the purpose of communicating, sensing or interacting with their internal states or the external environment."

The online survey, administered on TEKsystems' behalf by market research firm IDG research, queried respondents regarding the current state of IoT projects that their firms are deploying; what parts of their businesses they expect to be most directly involved in and impacted by the IoT; what business objectives they seek to achieve by deploying the technology; and timelines for and their level of preparedness (in terms of staffing) to meet those objectives.

More than half—55 percent—of respondents expect IoT initiatives to have a "transformational" or "significant" impact on their businesses during the next five years, and about half of all respondents expect the Internet of Things to help their companies create new revenue streams. But "only 22 percent of companies have made it to the implementation stage," Fisher says, "where products, services and processes are IoT-driven." Another 17 percent are in the pilot stage, with 19 percent in the planning stage and the remaining 42 percent still discussing IoT technology and evaluating how the IoT might benefit their firms.

When asked about their primary focus for current or future IoT and IoT-related initiatives, the largest group of respondents (30 percent) reported that infrastructure management was their main goal. This signals an interest in laying an IoT foundation to improve internal operations before turning to things such as incorporating the IoT into products and services (where 24 percent of respondents are starting), or using the IoT to improve operations, such as manufacturing or supply chain management (which 17 percent said is their primary focus).

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