The Internet of Things (IoT) could create AU$14.4 trillion in value over the next 10 years, with AU$1.2 trillion of that available today, according to Cisco. However, Australians aren't making the most of the opportunities, and may still not tomorrow.
For Australians, the total slice of the potential value, through cost avoidance and other efficiencies that IoT could bring, today stands at AU$74 billion. The good news is that Australians are already making some use of IoT, tapping into about 48 percent, or AU$35.6 billion, today. The bad news, however, is that the country is still leaving the remaining 52 percent on the table.
Compared to the other 11 countries surveyed by Cisco, which covered over 7,500 businesses and IT decision makers, Australia comes in third last, only outranking Russia and Mexico.
Cisco Australia and New Zealand managing director Ken Boal told journalists and analysts at a media briefing on Friday morning in Sydney that the top three roadblocks to organisations adopting more IoT-related technologies and services are the inability for IT systems to keep up, concerns over new security threats of IoT, and regulatory and compliance requirements, in order of importance.
Globally, however, security is placed as the top concern, ahead of IT infrastructure. Compliance and regulation continue to round out the top three.
Security and privacy rated a special mention by Boal, who said that concerns such as IPv6 and end-to-end security requirements must be considered and solved if IoT is to continue on its predicted growth rates.
"The industry is already learning how not to do it in terms of privacy, and clearly, as we move more into the consumer end of the spectrum, opt in is the way to go [and] the way to start."
However, that doesn't explain why Australia ranks so poorly compared to the rest of the world when it comes to how much of the IoT opportunity is being taken advantage of today. In contrast, the country making the most of IoT is Germany, which realises about 62 percent of its AU$87.5 billion IoT opportunity.
Instead, Boal said it could have more to do with the fact that Australia is more of an agricultural country, and that it is focused more on resource extraction.
"I wonder if there's something in our DNA at the moment that's holding us back around innovation," he said, highlighting that many decision makers in Australia are more risk averse.
"The IT organisations in our corporates and government have had a razor-sharp focus on costs — as it should always be the case — but in many cases, they've been hammered into submission, and the focus on streamlining costs has come at the cost of innovation."