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Cisco: 75% of IoT projects are failing due to lack of expertise

The comments from Cisco’s Australian CTO Kevin Bloch, made during an interview with ZDNet, echo other recent studies that illustrate a systemic lack of skills in managing IoT devices.
Businesses across all industries are recognising the potential benefits of using modern technologies. In most cases, they’re forced to abandon or scale back their plans due to technical troubles, cybersecurity issues or a fundamentally flawed vision.
Siloed data
Bloch said it’s the latter concern that’s increasingly the biggest problem in IoT implementations. Unable to source advice or find examples of successful IoT networks, companies are launching themselves into the concept without a properly formulated plan. This leads to IoT projects that are “siloed” and oriented towards specific problems.
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Companies quickly realise that their IoT devices are unable to interoperate, cannot be readily maintained and aren’t achieving the original design goals. The system is left to stagnate and may be switched off. Unless data can stream between IoT stacks, the entire concept is likely to fall apart. Unfortunately, companies often don’t consider interoperability while planning their cloud strategy.
“The inaugural phase of IoT is characterised by numerous point solutions from a multitude of new – often startup – vendors. Typically, these solutions have been designed to solve a particular societal problem such as lighting or parking,” Bloch explained to ZDNet. “In each case, a complete IT stack needs to be built in support of the solution. Eventually customers find themselves with multiple siloes from multiple vendors that don’t interoperate, are not cybersecure, use different protocols, and generate more complexity at greater cost.”
Finding talent
According to Cisco, businesses need to gain experience in managing and interacting with IoT devices. This necessitates the hiring of dedicated digital team leaders, responsible for designing and implementing a cohesive strategy. However, the cross-industry demand for these individuals is making it difficult for smaller firms to access the talent they need.
Cisco’s now building a new IoT foundation platform to help businesses network their devices. It can surface insights from multiple different device families irrespective of their vendor. The platform also helps to maintain cybersecurity standards to keep the network safeguarded from attack. Bloch warned enterprises “if you don’t secure it, don’t connect it,” noting that many IoT devices leak data due to poor design.

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