Companies with the most advanced Internet of Things strategy are addressing trust and security from the start of the work instead of as an afterthought.

A PwC survey of 1,000 US companies about IoT initiatives found that trust in this new technology was the top concern, ahead of tech challenges. These leaders who are already seeing results from IoT projects prioritized security by:

  • Making security a design priority
  • Naming an IoT security officer
  • Writing IoT-specific security policies

PwC’s IoT survey created an IoT Confidence Index by examining the practices and attitudes of US business and tech leaders. The analysts found that IoT trailblazers are:

  • Leveraging IoT internally, externally and with end consumers
  • More likely to rank trust as highest concern
  • More likely to be taking steps to address trust issues

IoT laggards look more like this:

  • No AI or data projects or at a research stage
  • Not taking steps to address trust issues and no plans to do so
  • Not planning to pursue other technologies and little or no integration

In addition to addressing trust issues head on, IoT trailblazers are making integration a priority. PwC analysts found that among the surveyed companies with active IoT projects:

  • 73% are also active with big data analytics
  • 53% are utilizing AI
  • 38% are using blockchain

This approach seems to be the key to success with IoT work: 97% of the companies that have integrated IoT with other technologies said they have reaped its benefits.

SEE: Securing IoT in your organization: 10 best practices (free PDF)

How to build trust

To make sure employees and other stakeholders have confidence in these complex combination, the trailblazing IoT companies are using smaller scale efforts to show the value of the technology. This includes tasks like managing room energy use, tracking overall environmental conditions, or even determining when the trash cans are full. Improving supply chain management is another straightforward way to use IoT strategies to boost overall trust in the technology.

Collaboration is another key to building trust. PwC analysts found that for IoT to fulfill its potential, everyone in the tech ecosystem will have to work together. Survey respondents said that tech providers have the biggest responsibility to build trust, with individual companies and regulators in the next two spots.

IoT trailblazers also are upskilling employees to address the trust gap with 36% doing this now and 25% planning to educate employees within the next two years.

Leading IoT implementers also worry about the lack of skills in the broader ecosystem. In fact, 37% are extremely concerned about upskilling government stakeholders, ranking higher than concerns about the workforce, boards, and industry peers.

A PwC survey found that collaboration among all members of the tech ecosystem is key to building trust in the new technology.
Image: PwC