Cost, Privacy, Key Barriers In IoT Adoption

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 10, 2015


A majority of manufacturers have begun to see gains in the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve their supply chain operations. However, lingering concerns about the cost of the IoT solutions is hindering its adoption, according to a new survey by tracking and visibility solutions provider Zebra Technologies.

IoT or Internet-connected devices that communicate with one another, has been highly discussed in recent years, especially as smart technologies continue to advance. While still at a relatively nascent stage, it is generally agreed to be the vast, ever-growing family of devices that are connected to one another via the Internet. Gartner has earlier estimated that by 2020 there will be close to 30 billion connected devices on the planet.

Those in the manufacturing center are using IoT to monitor supply chain, mitigate loss and risk, improve operations and asset utilization, and enhance customer service, according to supporters of the technology. Respondents to the Zebra survey said the most important enabling technologies they are using to build an IoT are Wi-Fi networks, real-time locating systems (RTLS), security sensors, bar codes, global positioning system (GPS) receivers, and mobile computers. Likewise, The report shows that 83 percent of manufacturers are planning to deploy it within a year.

However, despite the great promise of IoT for the supply chain, there are some real-world hurdles to installing a system. Asked to list the top five barriers to adopting an IoT solution, half of the surveyed manufacturers cited cost, 46 percent indicated privacy and security, and 46 percent named integration challenges.

The best way to clear these hurdles is for each company to design an IoT that matches its specific challenges, said Jim Hilton, senior director and global manufacturing principal at Zebra Technologies.

“Each company should apply only the amount of technology it needs to track its goods, assets, people, and processes, Hilton said. That can vary widely depending on budget, shipment value, and how soon the data is needed. One firm may need real-time data throughout the chain, while others would be satisfied to check in at the next point of connectivity or when the shipment arrives at the truck yard. That decision will help each business decide whether to implement an IoT network based on active or passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, Bluetooth wireless signals, or even basic barcodes,” he explained.

The survey affirms that more education and information sharing can be done to increase IoT adoption in the manufacturing space, said Hillton, more companies and brands than ever are recognizing the value of networking their products while, at the same time, developers are conjuring up innovative new ways to make user experiences more rich through the use of IoT devices and sensors.