IoT to Be a Big Driver of Growth But Industry Lacks the Necessary Skills

Microsoft surveyed 3,000 IoT decision makers and found 30% of IoT projects never make it out of the proof-of-concept stage.
Donna Fuscaldo

Companies are rapidly adopting and embracing IoT but a new survey from Microsoft shows there is a wide skills gap when it comes to this segment of the market. 

Microsoft surveyed more than 3,000 IoT decision-makers employed by enterprises and found many believe 30% of the company's revenue will come from IoT in two years time. Despite strong growth expectations, Microsoft also found the industry doesn't have the skilled workers to overcome the complexity and security challenges facing the IoT market. 


“IoT is transforming businesses in every industry and is powering breakthrough innovations,” said Sam George, head of Azure IoT in the research report. “Our research shows that unlocking IoT’s full potential requires the industry to address key challenges like the skills shortage, security concerns, and solution complexity.” According to the software giant, 30% of the IoT projects fail in the proof-of-concept stage due to costs or a lack of bottom-line benefits. 

Most Survey Respondents Are Adopting, Rolling Out IoT 

Of the survey respondents, 85% said they are in the IoT adoption phase while three-fourths have IoT projects in the works. Of the IoT adopters, a wide majority view IoT as critical to the success of the business. While most survey participants expressed concerns about security when rolling out IoT projects, they said it's not stopping them from moving forward. 

Among the barriers to implementing IoT in enterprise environments is complexity and technical challenges, which was cited by 38% of respondents, and a lack of talent, which 47% of survey respondents named. Over the course of the next two years, the IoT professionals said 5G rollout, artificial intelligence, and edge computing will be drivers of IoT growth.

IoT Market Poised for Double-Digit Growth 

The IoT market has been heating up as companies in all industries use Internet-connected devices to automate, collect data and otherwise make their businesses more efficient. According to International Data Corp., the market research firm, worldwide spending on IoT is forecast to hit $745 billion this year, marking a 15.4% increase over the $646 billion in 2018. The market is expected to maintain a double-digit growth rate through 2022. Its forecast to surpass $1 trillion in 2022. 

"Adoption of IoT is happening across industries, in governments, and in consumers' daily lives. We are increasingly observing how data generated by connected devices is helping businesses run more efficiently, gain insight into business processes, and make real-time decisions," said Carrie MacGillivray, vice president, Internet of Things and Mobility at IDC in January when the research firm issued the forecast. "The next chapter of IoT is just beginning as we see a shift from digitally enabling the physical to automating and augmenting the human experience with a connected world."  

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