Concerns over security remain a big barrier to more widespread enterprise adoption of the Internet of Things, according to a new BI Intelligence survey of technology executives.

The survey asked executives to answer questions about the Internet of Things as it relates to their business. Here are some of the most notable findings:

  • Privacy and security are the most significant barriers to IoT investment. This option was chosen by 39% of our survey respondents, well ahead of questionable ROI (27%) and lack of a use case (16%). (See chart, below). The fewest number of respondents said price would be a barrier to IoT adoption.
  • Adoption of the IoT is already significant. Over half of the executives (62%) said they had already adopted IoT-based systems or had plans to do so. A minority said the IoT was too new to invest in for now (24%) or that they had no plans to invest in it (12%). 
  • The IoT is already a known quantity. Over half of our respondents said they had above-average expertise in Internet of Things technology. 36% of respondents rated their expertise as a 7 or 8 on a scale of 1 to 10.
  • The ability to interact with customers and clients in new ways are the top IoT benefits. This answer was chosen by 47% of respondents, far more than the next-most popular answers, connected office set-ups, and new product launches (both at 16%).


We received just over 50 survey responses to our questionnaire, distributed only to BI Intelligence subscribers, and conducted in the final quarter of 2014. While this is a small respondent pool, we believe it is large enough to be representative of the specific group we were interested in: decision makers at firms with a stake in IoT technology. The respondents worked in companies ranging in size from less than 150 employees to more than 20,000 employees and across 14 separate industries, including software, financial services, IT services, marketing, and retail.

Additionally, in analyzing the results we find that their answers reflected the tenor of the general enterprise attitude toward the IoT, judging from press reports and our own conversations with executives: optimism tinged with some trepidation. 

bii_iot_implementationimpedimentsBI Intelligence

The sentiment toward privacy and security reflects growing concerns over whether the IoT will expose large businesses to more disruptive and costly [...]