In 2015, we conducted a survey around the Internet-of-Things (IoT) at the enterprise level and found that the best way to describe enterprise IoT was “deliberate.” Fast-forward to today, and the results from a January 2017 Red Hat survey around enterprise IoT indicate that the deliberate descriptor is still quite accurate. Conducted by TechValidate on behalf of Red Hat, and polling more than 200 IT decision makers and professionals from a wide variety of large organizations, the survey shows that while interest in IoT is picking up, actual roll-outs are being approached with the common enterprise IT theme of “steady deliberation.”

Fifty-five percent of survey respondents tab IoT as important to their organization, a 12 percent increase from 2015. While the importance of the technology is recognized, deployments among respondents remain in their early stages, with fewer than a quarter of respondents actually designing, prototyping or coding an IoT project.

In terms of the technology mix, survey respondents are overwhelmingly (89 percent) turning to open source for their IoT projects. Respondents also called out middleware (22 percent) as the most important part of the software mix in their implementations, showing just how critical these technologies are to integrating IoT with the broader business.

Beyond the technology, respondents also highlighted that partners are an important component of their IoT projects. Systems integrators (43 percent), IoT platform providers (43 percent) and communications specialists (31 percent) were all called out as important collaborators for successful deployments. Finally, the bulk of respondents (58 percent) are looking to IoT to deliver new business opportunities to their organizations, rather than improving existing processes or operations.

So what do these respondent trends potentially indicate about enterprise IoT in 2017? We think that the predictions we made in 2015 are coming true: Enterprises are deliberate in their approach to new technologies, and IoT is no different. Open source is well positioned to be the dominant technology and partners are going to be vital to project success. Finally, businesses are looking to IoT as a new revenue stream, not just as a way to cut costs or shore up their existing technologies.