Commentary

51% Of Companies Collect IoT Data, Then Most Don't Use It

There’s capturing data and then there’s putting that data to use.

Internet-connected devices are providing plenty of data, which many companies at least are capturing.

Trouble is, most of those companies are not using that data to provide any insights relating to customers.

The majority (51%) of companies with an IoT device are collecting data from connected products, according to a new study conducted by Forrester for Xively by LogMeIn.

The study comprised a survey of 230 companies in six countries that focus on developing or making Internet-connected products.

While most companies capture data from connected devices, there’s no dominant customer value being derived by a majority of businesses. Here’s how companies currently utilize the data, according to Forrester:

  • 34% -- Profile and segment customers
  • 33% -- Protect and secure sensitive data
  • 33% -- Provide data-driven insight to stakeholders and partners
  • 32% -- Personalize interactions with individual customers
  • 29% -- Leverage captured data to make decisions in real time

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This trend is consistent with other research I’ve seen, some showing even a larger number of companies not leveraging IoT data.

Many companies instinctively know they should capture data from connected devices, even if they haven’t yet thought out what they might do with it later.

The problem is that companies often focus more heavily on the technology rather than the desired outcome.

“Companies spend way too much time on the technology part of IoT,” Ryan Lester, Director of IoT Strategy, Xively, told me. “They spend all this time creating an IoT technology solution.

“Companies should spend more time on figuring what they want to do with the data.”

Of course, getting devices connected and then managing them is a process by itself, well before any data can be captured.

“If this was easy, everybody would be doing it,” Lester said.

IoT-enabled connected products are more complex than traditional products and are a challenge for 43% of companies, according to the Forrester study, which also found that 41% of businesses are challenged by managing connected devices.

Companies can use connected product data to better understand customer preferences so they can enhance and personalize customer experiences, according to Forrester.

Now if only the companies would star tapping into that data.

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