Internet of Things book

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a quickly growing concept. And emphasising just how important it is to business, more than half (54%) of companies in the UK are planning to create a Chief IoT Officer role in 2016.

New research from cyber security specialist Webroot and data centre organisation IO found that businesses will create the role to oversee an average 42% increase in spending on the Internet of Things.

Businesses in the education (63%), retail (63%) and telecomms (64%) industries are the most likely to create the role in 2016.

The study also found that an overwhelming majority of 94% of those surveyed claim to be investing in initiatives to prepare for the IoT, spreading those investments across infrastructure, security, R&D, skills and personnel.

Nearly two-thirds (60%) are planning to increase their Internet of Things budget this year, with 68% expecting to see significant returns on investment by the end of 2016, compared with just one in five who said they are seeing returns now.

Network infrastructure is attracting the bulk of investment with 71% of business leaders agreeing that it is a priority, often driven by the inadequacy of their existing networks. Nearly a quarter (24%) said they current infrastructure is in fact a barrier to successfully adopting IoT.

IO director Andrew Roughan said: "We're definitely seeing a move in enterprises. In recent years, we have seen a large and growing infrastructure investment to build digital infrastructures for the future. We haven't seen the tipping point yet in terms of how that has been utilised, the type of traffic and utilisation that will flow through both data centres' network infrastructure and devices.

“There are some initiatives that can drive change quickly and deliver some customer-facing and online benefits, but this is about more than that – it’s about defining the next era of the enterprise, beyond five or ten years. The infrastructure to support IoT needs some careful consideration, as typical enterprise-scale infrastructure investments won’t enable the IoT to scale economically”.