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

Fisher is not surprised by that list of priorities. "As with any other large-scale technology initiative," he says, "you need a foundation before you can derive the outcomes you're interested in—organizations must first lay the basic infrastructure of access points and data collection before envisioning the products and services that will come out of those findings."

Just 16 percent of respondents pointed to using IoT technologies as part of their customer service and support programs as their top priority, while 9 percent said they're starting with applications meant to boost employee productivity. The remaining 3 percent indicated that their focus laid outside those areas.

Many respondents are concerned about handling the volume of data to be collected through certain applications. In response to questions regarding their staffing needs, respondents prioritizing the use of IoT within their operations, or integrating the IoT into products or customer service, showed a marked need for team members with big data analytics skill sets, compared with organizations focusing on other IoT applications.

When asked to rate their organization's current ability and level of preparedness to complete each step in the IoT deployment process—from strategy definition to planning, designing, testing, implementing and establishing security—on a five-step spectrum ranging from fair to poor, most respondents rated themselves in the middle, or "good." Overall, fewer than four in 10 respondents rated their level of preparedness for each step as very good or excellent.

One survey question asked: For your IoT initiatives, which skill sets are you having the biggest challenge finding? Information security topped the list at 45 percent, followed by big data analytics (34 percent) and data architects (27 percent). Skills in cloud computing, at 23 percent, and programming and software development, at 21 percent, rounded out the list of skills of which respondents said they are in most need.

Respondents indicated that they plan to address staffing needs through a combination of new hires and outsourcing to third-party vendors. On average, their responses indicated that 37 percent of their organizations' requirements to deploy their IoT projects would come from outside vendors.

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