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U.S. Interest in IoT Remains High Amid Questions About 5G

Interest in using 5G networks for enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) applications is high in the U.S., even though questions remain about the deployment of the latest mobile technology, according to a new report published by Information Services Group (ISG), a leading global technology research and advisory firm.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens Internet of Things - Services and Solutions Report for the U.S. sees growing interest in using the IoT in a number of industries, despite continuing concerns about the location of 5G towers, misinformation about health effects, and spotty deployment.

Enterprises, the report says, need to focus on the quality of their wireless networks supporting IoT, as mobile network operators, in a bid to manage costs, often choose to shut down older networks to reallocate available spectrum to 5G. Shuttering events happen on a per-country, per-operator basis, which makes them difficult to manage.

"5G hype is rampant, and not all spectrum types are available in a particular country or on a particular mobile network," said Ron Exler, principal analyst with ISG Research and author of the report. "Enterprises need to work with their network and IoT providers to manage the selection of replacement technologies in advance of shuttering events, preferably in conjunction with 5G deployment."

Despite the uncertainty over 5G, U.S. enterprises are showing renewed interest in the IoT and the industrial IoT. "Manufacturers need smart factories and supply chains to keep up with the competition, and consumers are demanding smart, connected vehicles with a focus on user experience," said Dave Lewis, partner, ISG Manufacturing. "Many organizations already have chosen their IoT platforms and use cases, and are looking to their service providers to help them scale deployments."

Even though overall deployment of the IoT slowed in 2020, due in part to the impact of COVID-19, smart manufacturing initiatives in the U.S. had been moving forward quickly before the pandemic, and the manufacturing sector increased its spending on IoT outsourcing contracts in the last year, the report says. Outside of manufacturing, spending on IoT outsourcing contracts across industries began to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Many companies rolling out IoT remain concerned about cybersecurity, and they're turning to service providers to help them protect the data flowing over IoT systems, the report says.

IoT service providers are building security services into their consulting and managed services engagements, especially those focused on IT and operational technology (OT) convergence, the report adds. Many security services cover the entire IoT ecosystem, from the edge to the cloud to on-premises systems.

Beyond security, convergence of IT and OT systems is a major challenge for enterprises deploying IoT systems, the report says. The use of legacy systems in both worlds can slow down integration and mobility. Service providers are combining their industry expertise and IT proficiencies to develop converged systems.

Service providers are also helping enterprises deploy artificial intelligence in IoT systems, including on the edge, the report adds. AI can help IoT systems better process large volumes of data, and service providers often offer customized AIOps systems for specialized customer needs.

The 2021 ISG Provider Lens Internet of Things - Services and Solutions Report for the U.S. evaluates the capabilities of 29 providers across three quadrants: IoT Consulting and Services, Managed IoT Services and Connected Mobility Consulting and Services.

The report names Capgemini, Cognizant, HCL and IBM as Leaders in all three quadrants and Atos, HARMAN, Verizon and Wipro as Leaders in two. Accenture, Bosch, DXC Technology, L&T Technology Services, PwC and Siemens are named Leaders in one quadrant.

In addition, Atos, Cyient, HARMAN, HPE, LTI and L&T Technology Services were named Rising Stars-companies with "promising portfolios" and "high future potential" by ISG's definition-in one quadrant each.

Customized versions of the report are available from CyientHARMAN and L&T Technology Services.

Published Thursday, September 09, 2021 9:55 AM by David Marshall
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