Data Centers

Want to do IoT right? You'll need more storage, networking, servers, and cloud

A recent report from 451 Research said that the massive amount of data created by the Internet of Things will have a dramatic impact on enterprise IT.

It's no secret that the Internet of Things (IoT) has lead to an explosion of data. In order to better manage that data, and get the most out of it, enterprise IT is making serious investments across its infrastructure stack.

According to a Tuesday report from 451 Research, some 32.4% of enterprise organizations are planning to increase their storage capacity over the next 12 months. Some 30.2% of organizations are planning to increase their network edge equipment over the next year, while 29.4% plan to increase server infrastructure, and 27.2% plan to increase off-premises cloud infrastructure.

The majority of respondents are planning to either increase their spending on IoT projects, or keep it the same, the report found. Of those surveyed, 65.6% planned to increase their spending on IoT over the next year, while only 2.7% were planning a reduction.

SEE: Special report: Harnessing IoT in the enterprise (free PDF)

In terms of storage, 53.1% of companies store their IoT data at a company-owned data center, while 59.1% analyze it there. Some two-thirds of respondents said that the data would remain there for its lifespan, but the other one-third said they eventually move it to the public cloud. Cloud storage was more often used for historical use cases such as "regulatory reporting and trend analysis," the report said, as it offers flexibility and cost savings.

Data processing is also happening at the edge, according to slightly fewer than half of the respondents. Analysis, aggregation, and filtering are happening on the IoT device (22.2%) or in IT infrastructure that is nearby (23.3%), respondents said.

"Companies are processing IoT workloads at the edge today to improve security, process real-time operational action triggers, and reduce IoT data storage and transport requirements," Rich Karpinski, research director for Voice of the Enterprise: Internet of Things, said in the report. "While some enterprises say that in the future they will do more analytics—including heavy data processing and analysis driven by big data or AI—at the network edge, for now that deeper analysis is happening in company-owned datacenters or in the public cloud."

Most companies are using IoT to improve their IT processes, the report found—specifically, data center management, surveillance, and security monitoring. Although, the report also noted that facilities automation will become the most popular use case within two years.

As the use cases for IoT continue to grow, so does demand for tech workers skilled in the areas relevant to IoT. Nearly 50% of survey respondents said that the struggle with a "skill shortage" for work in IoT.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Companies investing in IoT are increasing their storage capacity, network edge equipment, server infrastructure, and off-premises cloud infrastructure over the next year, a 451 Research report said.
  2. Some two-thirds of companies are keeping IoT data on-premises, while the other one-third is moving it to the public cloud, the report found.
  3. Data processing at the edge is also increasing, along with demand for IoT experts, leading to a skills shortage in the enterprise, the report said.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/chombosan

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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