Security and costs holding back those looking to implement IoT projects

While 94% of IT professionals from organisations that are undertaking Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives say they need to invest in IoT over the next 12 months in order to stay competitive, most admit they have encountered barriers to adoption. These mainly include security concerns, the cost of implementation and commitment from the company’s leadership.

implement IoT projects

The research carried out by Vanson Bourne, looking at attitudes to IoT, including the drivers, barriers, challenges and benefits, surveyed 350 IT decision makers in the UK, US, Sweden and Denmark.

IoT strategy

While all respondents come from organisations that are investing in at least one IoT initiative, 51% report that they have a fully implemented IoT strategy in place, while 36% have one being rolled out.

While enabling IoT is the second most important IT priority for the next 12 months, only just behind improving security, 90% of respondents have struggled to implement a plan, with 36% saying they find it “very or extremely difficult”.

Security concerns

Security tops the list of major concerns, holding back 59%, while cost of implementation is also a barrier, delaying 46%.

More worrying is that while 42% say that creating efficiencies for the business is an important driver to implementing IoT initiatives and 37% say the same for reducing operational costs, getting access to funding for projects is a problem, with a third admitting this is a barrier.

The same amount struggle because of reluctance by senior executives in the organisation to commit to IoT projects.


As well as barriers, the research also highlights technical challenges that organisations are facing when delivering on IoT initiatives and processes. Security and safety tops the list at 63%, while data management (46%), network configuration (41%) and recruiting the right IoT skills and resources (39%) are also seen as technical challenges.

For implementation of smart city and smart utility solutions, proven security with multi-layer protection and continuous monitoring is considered ‘absolutely crucial’ for around half of respondents, while industry-wide open standards are also crucial (45% and 43% respectively).

implement IoT projects

IoT benefits

The benefits of IoT are also widely recognised, with the majority of respondents citing better business efficiency (54%), improved customer experience (49%) or better collaboration (48%). 45% have seen lower costs and 41% higher customer satisfaction.

According to the research, when organisations are evaluating which IoT technology to move forward with, 58% look for network topology and coverage, while communications performance (53%), industry standards support (52%), and power efficiency (50%) are also sought after. Around half look for reliability (47%) or scalability (44%).

“When it comes to the design, development and implementation of IoT projects, especially around smart cities and smart utilities, there are a number of issues that organisations are having to contend with and security is proving to be a particularly significant barrier,” according to Phil Beecher, President and CEO, Wi-SUN Alliance.

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