Dollar SignJust 8 percent of IT companies made money from their Internet of Things (IoT) offerings in 2015. That rose to 23 percent of these IoT channel companies in 2016, according to results of a new IoT profitability survey from CompTIA (Computing Technology Industry Association).

Looking ahead, one-third said they expect to make money from IoT sales over the next 12 months, CompTIA highlights in a news release about the IoT profitability survey. “The channel is making significant progress with monetizing the IoT opportunity and, unlike past years, view themselves as strong profitability candidates,” CompTIA senior director for technology analysis Seth Robinson commented.

Three-quarters of IoT channel providers said their view of IoT business prospects has improved over the past year. Another 21 percent said their assessment of the market remained the same, according to CompTIA’s ¨Internet of Things Trends and Opportunities¨ report.

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IoT Profitability
In its latest Mobility report, Ericsson forecast the number of IoT connections will surpass that for mobile phones in 2018, rising 23 percent annually between 2015 and year-end 2021 to reach 16 billion of 28 billion total connected devices.

All that said, technological complexity, the potential for runaway costs, liability, privacy, security and other regulatory issues remain obstacles that IoT channel providers and customers are coming to grips with.

Robinson pointed out that the business lines and IT skills associated with IoT deployment are extensions of existing business lines and in-house IT workers’ skill sets. On the other hand, ¨the complexity of IoT projects is beyond what many companies can handle internally, especially on the SMB end of the spectrum,¨ he said.

IoT consulting is the most popular IoT service among channel providers, CompTIA found, with 40 percent of survey respondents offering the service. IoT security ranked second at 36 percent, and IoT analytics, managed services, custom app development, reselling and infrastructure services were being offered by between 30 and 35 percent.

Others are active in niche IoT markets, CompTIA points out. Presidio offers an IoT solution that enables a Texas school district to track student safety and bus routes, for example.

Other examples mentioned include Dimension Data, which provided a variety of IoT applications for the Tour de France that included relaying data from sensors on bicycles to fans in real-time. And Axian’s in-building IoT lighting system resulted in energy consumption at a European energy network to be cut 70 percent.

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