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The enterprise IoT platform market is expected to enjoy robust growth over the next several years, both in terms of revenue and data generated. Enterprises in the process of deploying IoT platforms are overwhelmingly committed to those projects, with more than 90% saying IoT is a “core” or “broad” part of their digital transformation strategy, according to industry research group Omdia.

“IoT deployments across enterprises are continuing to rise year on year as enterprises become more familiar with the technologies available and the huge benefits IoT deployments can provide,” Omdia research, IoT, and AI director Josh Builta told VentureBeat.

“While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated almost half of all IoT projects, serious concerns around security, data privacy, and governance still remain within many organizations. Over the next year, as more enterprises see firsthand the direct correlation between IoT deployment and business efficiencies, we expect IoT deployments to continue to accelerate,” Builta said. “However, it is up to the vendors to communicate how they are managing and alleviating concerns around privacy and data protection. Once the vendors manage to demonstrate this fully, we expect IoT deployments within enterprises will grow exponentially over the next few years.”

IoT platforms on tap as multiple projects rise up

Its third report, Omdia’s 2021 IoT Enterprise Survey polled 365 enterprises located in seven countries. Surveyed organizations were currently or in the process of deploying IoT solutions as part of a digital transformation strategy. Some 92% of respondents described their IoT deployments as either “core” and organizationally wide-ranging or “broad,” meaning IoT may not touch every part of their business but would be utilized across multiple departments and product lines. The remaining 8% of respondents said they were using IoT in a “targeted” way for a single department, process, or geographic location.

Omdia also said surveyed enterprises were much further along in their IoT deployments and increasing their number of IoT-based projects. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said their IoT projects were “either in full deployment or trial/PoC stage,” up from just 4% the previous year. Some 40% of enterprises were now working on more than five IoT projects, up 25% from the 2020 survey.

Enterprises were also increasingly betting on strong returns from IoT investments in the form of productivity gains, energy efficiency, and worker and facility safety, according to Omdia. The percentage of respondents saying their organization’s IoT investment would exceed $1 million in 2021 nearly doubled, going from 21% in 2020 to 38% this year.

IoT security and compliance top enterprise concerns

As in previous surveys, data and network security and compliance with data protection regulations remained top concerns for enterprises deploying IoT solutions. Security concerns (cited by 53% of respondents) and data governance concerns (50%) were the top two challenges to IoT adoption in organizations. The main security concerns for respondents were lateral breaches (23%), device authentication/identity breaches (22%), ransomware (20%), and DDoS attacks (19%).

Where are enterprises going for IoT platforms, products, and services? The biggest cloud service providers — AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud — accounted for 42% of the IoT products and services used by respondents, according to Omdia. However, nearly half of enterprises are using more than one IoT supplier. Respondents further demanded vendors have key capabilities, including open APIs, proactive/predictive IoT data analysis, and integrated IoT security.

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