"The channel is making significant progress with monetizing the IoT opportunity and, unlike past years, view themselves as strong profitability candidates," said Seth Robinson, senior director, technology analysis, CompTIA.
Stumbling blocks to widespread IoT deployments remain in play and will likely be there for the foreseeable future. Concerns about costs and return on investment; technical hurdles; and liability, privacy, security and other regulatory matters are some of the major inhibitors.
Still, three-quarters of channel firms in the CompTIA survey said they have a more positive view of IoT today than they did a year ago. Another 21 percent have not changed their opinion over the past 12 months, a group that certainly includes firms that were bullish on IoT to begin with.
Robinson said there are good reasons for channel companies to look favorably on IoT.
"First, the complexity of IoT projects is beyond what many companies can handle internally, especially on the SMB end of the spectrum," he explained. "Second, many areas of IoT are essentially extensions of the skills and lines of business that solution providers already have."
Consulting is currently the most popular IoT channel offering, with 40 percent of companies offering something in this space. The next most popular offering is security, provided by 36 percent of firms. Analytics, managed services, custom app development, reselling, and infrastructure services are offered by between 30 percent and 35 percent of companies.
Some IT solution providers are carving out unique niches in the IoT market. Four such companies are featured in a complementary whitepaper published by CompTIA.
- Presidio, Inc. provides a fleet management solution for a Texas school district, allowing administrators to track student safety and bus routes across 625 square miles.
- Dimension Data empowered the Tour de France with a range of IoT applications – including custom network transported sensor information from bicycles – to deepen fan engagement.
- Axians helped to develop an in-building IoT lighting system that enabled a European energy network company to slash its energy consumption by up to 70 percent.
- Impetus Technologies created a factory floor IoT system that helped a customer improve its manufacturing processes and reduce the volume of product defects.
CompTIA's Internet of Things Trends and Opportunities report is available at https://www.comptia.org/resources/internet-of-things-insights-and-opportunities.
The free whitepaper, Mastering the Internet of Things, is available at https://www.comptia.org/resources/master-the-internet-of-things-case-studies.
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