Economist study finds IoT is progressing slower than hoped

Internet of Things IOT logo and concept as vector illustration using flat design

A study by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by ARM and IBM has found that adoption of IoT tech, despite continued optimism at its potential, has been relatively weak.

The headline research contributes to a metric called The Internet of Things Business Index (IoTBI), which combines survey-derived data points from a number of different sources and industries to gauge levels of IoT implementation. 57% of respondents agreed with the statement: “Our progress with the IoT has not happened as fast as we expected.”

The only previous IoTBI was done in 2013 when, armed with less of a sense of the practicalities and commercial realities involved in implementing IoT in the real world. The headline metric was a scale of 1-10, indicating how far down the IoT road respondents were. In 2013 this was 3.88 for external products and three years later that had only progressed to 4.43. Internal IoT implementations have progressed even more slowly in that time, from 4.25 to 4.34. At this rate we’ll be living the IoT dream sometime around 2050.


Among the key inhibitors to IoT adoption were cost, security and senior management incompetence.

EIU IOTBI 2017 challenges

Having sponsored the report, ARM CEO Simon Segars figured he might as well whack out a blog on it. Segars, whose company has a massive stake in the future growth of the IoT industry, chose to accentuate the positives. “While we know that we are relatively early on the IoT journey, the report suggests one in five companies are now moving out of planning and into rolling out IoT services and products,” he wrote.

Given how much of a vested interest ARM and IBM have in IoT it adds credibility to the data that it paints such a sluggish picture. This is probably just an inevitable lull in the hype-cycle and we’re now going through the boring but necessary process of working out what’s actually viable. IoT is no longer just hype and that, at least, is some kind of progress.

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