IoT Impacting IT Infrastructure from Edge to the Cloud

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A recent report from 451 Research found that the massive amounts of data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) is already having a significant impact on enterprise IT.

In the latest Voice of the Enterprise: IoT – Workloads and Key Projects, analysts found that organisations deploying IoT are planning increases in storage capacity (32.4%), network edge equipment (30.2%), server infrastructure (29.4%) and off-premises cloud infrastructure (27.2%) in the next 12 months, to help manage the IoT data storm.

Analysts found that spending on IoT projects remains solid, with 65.6% of respondents planning to increase their spending in the next 12 months and only 2.7% planning a reduction.

Today, IT-centric projects are the dominant IoT use cases, particularly datacentre management and surveillance and security monitoring. Two years out, however, facilities automation will likely be the most popular use case, and line-of-business-centric supply chain management is expected to jump from number six to number three.

Finding IoT-skilled workers remains a challenge since the last IoT survey in 2016, with almost half of respondents saying they face a skills shortage for IoT-related tasks. Data analytics, security and virtualisation capabilities are the skills most in demand.

451 Research found that the collection, storage, transport and analysis of IoT data is impacting all aspects of IT infrastructure. Most companies say they initially store (53.1%) and analyse (59.1%) IoT data at a company-owned datacentre. IoT data remains stored there for two-thirds of organisations, while nearly one-third of the respondents move the data to a public cloud.

Researchers found that, once IoT data moves beyond operational and real-time uses and the focus is on historical use cases such as regulatory reporting and trend analysis, cloud storage gives organisations greater flexibility and often significant cost savings for the long-term.

Despite this centralisation of IoT data, the survey also found action at the edge. Just under half of respondents said they do IoT data-processing – including data analysis, data aggregation or data filtering – at the edge, either on the IoT device (22.2%) or in nearby IT infrastructure (23.3%).

“Companies are processing IoT workloads at the edge today to improve security, process real-time operational action triggers, and reduce IoT data storage and transport requirements,” said the report’s Research Director, Rich Karpinski. “While some enterprises say that in the future they will do more analytics – including heavy data-processing and analysis driven by big data or AI – at the network edge, for now that deeper analysis is happening in company-owned datacentres or in the public cloud.”

The study incorporated 575 complete responses to a web-based survey that polled IT and IoT decision-makers worldwide and was supplemented with 11 in-depth phone interviews with IoT IT managers and C-level executives conducted by 451 Research.