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”).
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).
“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.