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IoT surprise

The expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) has taken UK business by surprise, according to Managed 24/7, an IT and telecommunications managed services provider.

Managing The Internet Of Everything: The 2016 Readiness Report suggests that, despite the increasing reliance of 24×7 availability of intelligent devices from organisations spanning football clubs to manufacturers, connected cities to intelligent buildings, 80 per cent of businesses experienced an IT or telecoms outage during the past three years – rising to 83 per cent of larger businesses (those with over 500 employees).

However, with half of UK CIOs also admitting IoT is either already having, or will have an impact on their business within the next 12 months, the research identifies a clear disconnect between operational requirements and IT delivery standards. Fewer than half (42 per cent) of companies surveyed have an IoT connectivity policy, for example, and the majority (54 per cent) do not even have a BYOD policy. It may come as no surprise then, that just 26 per cent of CIOs said they are completely confident their IT strategy will support business objectives. While the research indicates many organisations are already gaining operational benefits from the expansion of connected devices, the creation of siloed IoT – or operational technology (OT) – deployments is also adding to corporate risk; just 25 per cent of companies responded they were completely confident in the security of their network. But what differentiates confident businesses from the rest? The results suggest that the confident organisations have adopted better processes and techniques than their less confident competitors:

While an average of 69 per cent of all companies are using analytics or predictive modelling to help guarantee more than 99.999 per cent uptime, at least 90 per cent of companies which said they were completely confident are using it.
An average of 71 per cent of all companies have a clear and documented process in place for testing and adding new network devices, but this rises to 92 per cent of companies which are completely confident.
On average, companies spend 40 per cent of the overall IT budget on support, but it accounts for 48 per cent of spend in companies which are completely confident.
On average, 66 per cent of senior management teams meet at least monthly to review network security; this figure rises to 84 per cent in companies which are completely confident.

John Pepper, CEO and founder of Managed 24/7, says: “Our research shows that, so far, around 25 per cent of UK companies have rightly identified the need to adopt working processes that consider IoT deployments, and implemented an IT strategy they are confident in as a result. However, the vast majority still have some way to go before they are ready to take on today’s challenges, let alone those involved in managing the Internet of Everything.

“The implications of systems outage are more significant than ever; by the end of 2016 alone, Gartner predicts more than six billion connected devices. Without a proactive, CIO-led approach to addressing this expansion outside traditional IT deployments, organisations will be left open to risk. Failure to make the transition from the five nines model of the past to a predictive, proactive model of today could seriously jeopardise operational performance. As the research shows, it’s time to bridge the gap between OT and IT for good – before it’s too late.”

Managing The Internet Of Everything: The 2016 Readiness Report was by Opinionography on behalf of Managed 24/7, and is based on the responses of 200 UK CIOs. To read the full white paper visit: http://www.managed.co.uk/iot-readiness-report-2016.


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