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Only half of enterprise developers are ready for the Internet of Things, survey finds

Close to a third of developers even admit they feel "overwhelmed" by the potential challenges of IoT will bring.

The emerging Internet of Things (IoT) is demanding new initiatives toward enterprise architecture, data services and integration.

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Photo: Alyssa McKendrick

That's the conclusion of a new survey of 675 application developers, which finds broad support for IoT initiatives, but a lot of work ahead. The study, conducted by Harbor Research and underwritten by Progress, finds that at least 45 percent of developers are working on IoT initiatives, and 75 percent feel IoT is going to deliver positive results.

At this point, only 50 percent of developers say they have the skills, resources and technological tools to deliver on IoT expectations, the survey finds. That's because there are many new moving parts that will need to be added to already complex IT infrastructures.In fact, nearly a third (30%) "experience data overload and feel overwhelmed trying to manage it all when managing data sets for contextualized IoT apps, such as location-based apps," the report finds.

For starters, preparing for IoT will mean developing an architecture that will drive data aggregation, usage and management, the report states: "Data management and information management models are required for this market opportunity to flourish. Systems need to be designed to accommodate and provide interoperability between existing machine-to-machine systems, different device manufacturers, and pre-existing service providers."

Accordingly, interoperability, integration, and security and privacy are among the top concerns for IoT developers. "To date, the IoT opportunity has consisted of simple monitoring applications and related tracking/location services," the report states. "The biggest challenge IoT faces is the enablement of seamless interoperability between each connection."

Respondents are divided on which OSes and development platforms are best for building and coordinating IoT apps. Currently, Android is seen as the top OS by 29 percent of respondents.Windows follows at 24 percent, Linux with 21 percent, and iOS with 16 percent.

In terms of development platforms, Java is the leader for server-side data, with the support of 55 percent of respondents. PHP is a distant second at 17 percent, and Node.js at 12 percent.

More than 60 percent of developers see future IoT apps running on the cloud and interacting with multiple devices.

Device data management systems need to mature rapidly, the Progress report adds: "A new generation of data services will be required to meet data volume, velocity, complexity and overall management challenges, providing real-time analytics, closed-loop control, and local systems collaboration."