IoT’s Kryptonite: What’s Holding Back the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is, by all accounts, the next big “thing.”

It is largely regarded as the third major wave of the Internet (following the development of PCs and mobile devices, in that order) (see Goldman Sachs, “The IoT as the Third Wave of the Internet”). And, just last year, the IoT officially took its place as the “most hyped technology,” reaching the top of Gartner’s “hype cycle.” (See Forbes, “It’s Official: The Internet Of Things Takes Over Big Data As The Most Hyped Technology”).

IoT hype cycle
IoT catapulted to the top of the Gartner “hype” cycle in 2014

So what then could possibly slow down this technological mega-trend? As it turns out, it’s not one thing, but four things that could  ultimately serve as IoT’s (short term) kryptonite.

According to Chris Neiger with the Motley Fool, a new survey by Accenture suggests that many companies are having a hard time engaging in IoT, primarily as a result of:

  • Minimal telecommunications infrastructure;
  • Poor access to capital;
  • Lack of customer demand; and,
  • Little government support.

(Source: The Motley Fool, The 4 Biggest Hurdles Facing the Internet of Things; February 22, 2015; citing the Accenture Report).

whats holding back IoT 2 25 2015

“One of the biggest problems executives cited [from the Accentue survey] (44% to be exact) in deploying Internet of Things technologies is the lack of telecommunications infrastructure.”  Many who were surveyed (another 44%) also said “their company does not have the capital to invest in the new technology.”

Neiger also reported that, “About 43% of executives cited lack of customer demand as the reason for holding back IoT plans… For starters, an Acquity Group report said that about 87% of U.S. consumers do not know what the term “Internet of Things” means. Of those who know about wearables and other connected devices, 53% do not want wearable devices, and more than half of Americans do not even know they can buy a smart refrigerator or smart smoke detector if they wanted one.”

42% of the survey respondents said the lack of government support is inhibiting their Internet of Things progress (although to his credit, Neiger did say this “sounds a bit like an excuse”).

In short, while it’s true that IoT is a powerful mega-trend that will, no doubt, soon be realized as the game-changer that so many of us believe it to be, the Internet of Things isn’t without its present day challenges. Like so many other mega-trends before it, infrastructure will need to be developed, investments will need to be made, customers will need to jump on board and the government will need to play its part (unobtrusively) in order for the true power of IoT to be realized and unleashed upon us all.

 

New Cybersecurity Agency Formed

President Obama announced this week the formation of the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC), a new federal agency, “tasked with coordinating the response to cybersecurity threats.” (Source: US News and World Report, Feb 10, 2015 by Tom Risen).

new agency for cyber

According to the USNWR report, “The new agency will report to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, like the National Counterterrorism Center (“NCTC”) after which it is modeled. The NCTC, formed after the attacks of 2001, is an integration and analysis center built to study terrorism-related intelligence. The new cybersecurity center will apply this same focus by reviewing intelligence collected from entities like the National Security Agency, the FBI and foreign law enforcement agencies, “(Source: USNWR report, citing Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism).

According to Ms. Monaco, “No single government entity is responsible for producing coordinated cyber threat assessments, ensuring that information is shared rapidly among existing cyber centers and other [government] elements, and supporting the work of operators and policymakers with timely intelligence about the latest cyber threats and threat actors…The Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center [ ] is intended to fill these gaps, analyzing and integrating information already collected under existing authorities, and [ ] enabl[ing] centers that already perform cyber functions to do their jobs more effectively.” (Source: DoD News, “New Threat Center to Integrate Cyber Intelligence,” by Cheryl Pellerin) (emphasis added).

DoD News new agency

The formation of the CTIIC is the latest in a string of recent developments at the federal level aimed at acknowledging and addressing cybersecurity threats in the United States. Just last month the Federal Trade Commission released a 55-page report with recommendations for enhancing cybersecurity in the Internet of Things (IoT). And in late December, Congress passed four (4) cybersecurity bills representing the first time that Congress has passed and sent major cybersecurity legislation to the White House in 12 years.

More action at the federal level is likely, even as privately held and public companies alike work on their own volition to develop information security programs designed to identify and defend against cybersecurity threats.