Research: IoT being used, or planned, at 67 percent of companies
IoT is the hottest component of the BYOD trend at organizations worldwide. A new Tech Pro Research survey shows that 67 percent of companies are either already using IoT devices, or planning to use them in the next year. Many are incorporating them into their BYOD plans.
BYOD continues to be a thriving trend in the workplace, with the majority of companies allowing employees to bring in their own devices. And now wearable devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being thrown into the mix, making the concept more complex but also allowing for more device flexibility among organizations.
Tech Pro Research has monitored the BYOD and wearables trend in the enterprise since early 2013, conducting several research studies to have data to compare back to previous years.
The newest survey and resulting research report, BYOD, Wearables and IoT: Strategies, Security, Satisfaction, shows that BYOD is in use at 59 percent of organizations with another 13 percent planning to allow it -- 72 percent in total. BYOD is most common in the manufacturing and education sectors, and there are more small companies (with 50 or fewer employees) allowing it compared to larger organizations.
These represent broadly similar figures to last year's survey, showing that BYOD is a solid process with little change in twelve months. Compare this to 2013, however, when a smaller proportion of companies -- 62 percent -- were permitting the use of BYOD or planning to do so.
The research report revealed several potential benefits to allowing BYOD, including lowered equipment and service plan costs and reduced device support. Employees are also often more content to use devices with which they're familiar with and appreciate some flexibility in their equipment choices.
Throwing in new concepts such as wearable devices -- including the ever-popular fitness trackers and smartwatches -- as well as IoT devices, has the potential to change the BYOD trend by diversifying it and adding a new layer of complexity. There is a definite possibility of adding value to business, but there is also risk if IoT devices are not managed properly.
Companies allowing wearable devices
As Scott Matteson wrote in the Tech Pro Research report, "Wearables is still a slowly-building industry yet here we see that nearly half of survey respondents are either using, in the midst of implementing, or planning to implement them in the next year.
Although the majority of respondents (52 percent) say they have no interest or plans to use wearables, the active use of wearables has increased from 7 percent to 12 percent during the past year, and more companies are planning to use them. Last year, 71 percent said they had no interest, so the 52 percent stating no interest this year is a definite drop, as curiosity increases.
The survey found that wearables are in use at 24 percent of organizations, with another 23 percent planning to allow them. The three most common wearables being used or considered are smartwatches, sensors/monitors and headgear.
IoT growing in popularity
IoT devices are being used or implemented in 32 percent of respondent organizations, and planned at another 35 percent. Surveillance equipment, RFID chips/tags and building controls were the three most common uses for IoT devices.