53% Unaware of Internet of Things, 72% Find it Confusing

For a business to tap into the potential of The Internet of Things is going to require some buy-in from those at the top.

Of course, a CEO or CMO has to see the benefits to their customers and business, which means they need to be somewhat up to speed on what IoT is all about.

If a new study of one group of business leaders is any indication of the IoT state of adoption, some have a ways to go.

It turns out that the majority of top execs in Canada are not even aware of The Internet of Things.

Most (53%) executives said they are completely unaware of the Internet of Things and even more (72%) find it to be a confusing concept.

The study comprised a survey of 700 C-suite executives in Canada, conducted by Northstar for Microsoft.

It’s no secret that technology has been playing a more significant role in all business. The mobile revolution helped bring that home to many companies.

But while consumers are adapting to new technologies quickly and at scale, it’s not always as easy for businesses to keep up, for a host of reasons.

It’s relatively easy for a consumer to acquire connected objects, ranging from fitness trackers and smart watches to in-home gadgets, like smart thermostats.

But a company has to deal with the larger implications, such as corralling and leveraging the data from millions of connected devices and then figuring out how to create and deploy new marketing messaging to reach consumers via those devices.

Many of these issues go beyond technology into areas of privacy and security, making it a much more complex puzzle.

It’s not always that businesses don’t want to leverage technology to help them; it’s just not always easy.

For example, the Canadian study found that about half (49%) of top executives believe technology helps their business stay competitive and almost half (47%) say it improves their customer service.

However, a very large number (85%) say they aren’t fully utilizing technology.

This study represents only one market and may not be representative globally.

For example, a large event I recently spoke at in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, was exclusively devoted to The Internet of Things and well attended by top executives from around the country.  

You (since you’re reading this), many senior executives in the U.S. and leading agencies are more than aware of The Internet of Things. 

And that, by itself, is a good start.


5 comments about "53% Unaware of Internet of Things, 72% Find it Confusing".
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  1. Thomas Villing from Villing & Company, Inc., November 20, 2015 at 12:59 p.m.

    I would submit that Canada is not the outlier and that many c-suite executives (much less the general population) are not aware of the term Internet of Things or fully comprehend what it entails.    As you suggest, there is much work to be done.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, November 20, 2015 at 2:21 p.m.

    Good point, Thomas, other things are more front of mind.

  3. Gray Hammond from G R Hammond, November 20, 2015 at 5:38 p.m.

    Love the math. Over half unaware, yet nearly 3/4 confused?! Can I be confused and unaware?

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, November 22, 2015 at 8:23 p.m.

    Right, Gray, that's how they asked the questions in the study.

  5. Jay Fredrickson from Fredrickson Services Inc., December 1, 2015 at 4:27 p.m.

    I am not sure that messaging for companies is what companies need to be working on as it relates to IOT.  The last thing I want is my nest thermostat or single serve coffee maker that is connected to my alarm clock to give me a "marketing message".  Why can't technology do things to make our life easier without it having to use big data to try to send me a message?

     Maybe the reason so many C level execs don't know ( or don't care) about IOT is because their companies do not have any goods or services that will benefit from this trend. ( ever think of that?)

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