Research from ParStream shows the vast majority of businesses are struggling to optimize and take useful insights from all the information the Internet of Things (IoT) provides. Not too surprising, since ParStream is a provider of IoT analytics.

But the study nonetheless shines a spotlight on a problem. Almost all organizations (96 percent) still face challenges with their IoT projects. More than two-thirds of those polled do not have quantifiable metrics to assess the success or failure of their projects, and only eight percent are making full use of their IoT data. About 17 percent capture and store IoT data, but do nothing with it.

Struggling for Success

In January, ParStream surveyed 203 technology and business professionals. The participants were asked a series of questions about their involvement in IoT projects as well as the goals and challenges of those projects.

They were further asked to clarify the business goals of their IoT projects. The options were to either:

  • Optimize Current Business by increasing employee productivity, reducing the cost of operations or improving customer experiences
  • Opening new market opportunities or enabling a new business model through strategic investments.

It found that enterprises are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data the IoT generates and struggling to derive meaning from that data. Here are six reasons why:

1. Success Metrics

The IoT is still evolving, and many companies have yet to adopt ways of measuring the success of their projects.

The research showed 33 percent are tracking their IoT projects with unquantifiable metrics. Another 29 percent are have documented goals but no way of measuring those goals. About 38 percent are judging the success or failure of projects based on nothing but experience.

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2. Processes and Policies

IoT projects are a challenge for 96 percent of enterprises. The most common problems are related to processes and policies (58 percent), followed by user adoption of new technologies. Others include finding appropriate platforms, promoting change in the enterprise, lack of standards and a lack of understanding about the IoT.

3. Data Capture

Very few are capturing  IoT data correctly — if at all. Some 17 percent are not capturing any data, citing issues like confidentiality and privacy. Paradoxically IoT stakeholders know they need better data capture. The majority (92 percent) said they would benefit if they captured and stored their IoT data faster and more cost effectively.

4. Data Storage

Almost all — 86 percent — of respondents in business roles rated efficient data analysis as important. But most enterprises fall short. Some 89 percent store data for more than a week and about half (47 percent) store it for more than a year.

5. Data Analysis 

Users complained that data is not necessarily in a usable format. Other data does not meet specifications or is "unexpected." They also said users do not know how to use the data or deal with information that belongs to siloed organizations.

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6. The Role of Analytics

The vast majorities of stakeholders (86 percent) said faster and more flexible analytics would increase the return-on-investment (ROI).

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This research comes on the heels of Verizon research that showed businesses that embrace the IoT will be as much as 10 percent more profitable by 2025. The research also showed that there were 1.2 billion devices connected to the Internet last year and that the number will rise to 5.4 billion by 2020, for an annual growth rate of 28 percent.

The bottom line: enterprises still have some way to go before they can properly exploit the IoT.

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