Survey data from Forrester Research indicates that Internet of Things (IoT) solutions may finally be ready for ‘prime time.’ Business Decision Makers (BDMs) report that IoT has become a top business priority and they are assessing solution feasibility and, in some cases, already investing. IoT will be driven by the business side of the house, but a close collaboration between business and technology management stakeholders is a prerequisite for success. Forrester believes that IoT will ultimately serve as a driving force for the Business Tehcnology (BT) Agenda by changing processes, skills, and the mindset of technology management organizations. 

Forrester Business Technographics® runs a series of annual surveys with business and technology decision-makers measuring technology adoption plans, drivers, barriers and buyer behaviors. Let’s take a closer look at how adoption plans for IoT have evolved over the past year.

Compared with 2014, BDMs surveyed in 2015 were more than twice as likely to report they would begin IoT investment within the next 12 months, 50% more likely to report they were currently implementing or piloting IoT and dramatically less likely to be unfamiliar with IoT adoption plans or report they were not familiar with the technology. In 2015, 49% of BDMs reported that the expansion of IoT initiatives was a “high” or “critical” organizational priority over the coming 12 months.


BT includes the systems and processes to win, serve and retain customers. IoT, which will be driven by business stakeholders interested in connecting their products and assets, sits squarely within this agenda. But, business groups can’t succeed on IoT alone and must partner with technology management teams who can provide crucial expertise in areas that include:

  • Protocols for efficiently communicating sensor data
  • Infrastructure and design solutions to reliably keep that data flowing through the network
  • Data and analytics solutions to make sense of the data

In addition to the technology skills gap that the technology management organization can bridge, BDMs are concerned with the security of IoT deployments. In fact, in the 2015 survey, security was the most commonly identified barrier to adoption – more than integration challenges, more than perceived technology immaturity and more even than cost concerns. Security and risk professionals aligned to the CIO’s organization can provide data protection practices to directly address this adoption barrier.

There is no denying that the rise of BT has been accompanied with a rise of business stakeholder influence over technology strategy. But IoT is an exceptionally complex and nascent technology. CIOs and business leaders should embrace this partnership opportunity to advance their mutual objectives. IoT investments may be sparked by business stakeholders interested in improving their ability to win, serve and retain customers – but success will require commitment and support from technology management teams.