By now, most organizations are at the very least familiar with the Internet of Things (IoT) as a concept. However, adoption of IoT has been uneven at best.

A new report published by Dresner Advisory Services finds only 32 percent of respondents are making investments in IoT today. The good news is the survey finds another 48 percent plan to make investments over the course of the next two years. At a recent Ingram Micro ONE 2018 conference, Eric Hembree, director of IoT U.S. for Ingram Micro, noted that only about two percent of IoT projects have made it beyond the proof of concept (PoC) stage.

It’s clearly going to be a while before there is a critical mass of organizations that have moved IoT projects into production. But managed service providers (MSPs) should be planning today for spectrum of services opportunities that will emerge as more devices are connected to the Internet over the next three plus years.

Emerging opportunities

Obviously, the first opportunity will come from a need to manage and secure all those devices. But while that opportunity is likely to prove significant, savvy MSPs should also consider the downstream opportunities all the data being generated by those devices will create. After all, the main motivation for investing in IoT is to create a massive pool of data that will enable a broad range of processes to be automated more accurately.

Data collected by IoT devices will likely need to be aggregated in at least two of three places. The first place is at the local gateway that IoT devices are connected. The cost of sending every piece of IoT data back to a data center or cloud service is going to be prohibitive. Much of the analytics applied to IoT is going to be processed at the network edge where IoT gateways reside.

The next two centers of IoT gravity will be local data centers and public clouds. Many organizations will find using public clouds to be the most economical approach, given the fact that IoT devices are going to be highly distributed. However, there will still be plenty of organizations that will determine IoT data is too sensitive to be processed and stored on a public cloud.

As a result, highly distributed IoT environments will emerge. The Dresner report notes that in addition to all the data management opportunities that will ensue, organizations that invest in IoT are likely to increase their investments in business intelligence (BI), as well. They will also probably invest in advanced analytics applications that incorporate things like models based on machine and deep learning algorithms. Unsurprisingly, the report finds a high correlation between organizations investing IoT that are also embracing a variety of Big Data platforms to house IoT data.

Building, deploying, and managing IoT applications requires a fair amount of expertise. In fact, that lack of expertise could explain why IoT adoption is taking so long. At the same time, it’s apparent that most organizations are committed to IoT. The challenge and opportunity MSPs now face is deciding when is the right time to make the required investments. These investments will provide IoT management expertise that will clearly be in much higher demand in the months and years ahead.

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Photo:  metamorworks / Shutterstock.

Mike Vizard

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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