This is the third installment in a 5-part series on Ayla Network’s IoT survey on the “Biggest Opportunities and Challenges of IoT-Enabled Products and Services.”

When it comes to creating Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, should you build or buy? DIY or outsource the whole process?

 For any company creating connected products, that’s one of the biggest decisions they need to make. Our recent survey on the “Biggest Opportunities and Challenges of IoT-Enabled Products and Services” provided an interesting peek into how some are tackling—or planning to tackle—this issue.

Mixed Implementations Are Most Popular

 Our online survey allows us to compare respondents who have already launched IoT solutions with those who are still in the thinking or development stages. That’s because we divided respondents into two groups, based on their answer to a question about whether they had products that were already IoT-enabled: A “yes” answer defined one group, while a “no” or “I don’t know” answer defined the other.

We asked the first group—the “yes” answerers—how did your company implement its IoT solution? To the “no” or “I don’t know” group, the question was, how does your company plan on implementing its IoT solution?  

The possible answers were:

  • Completely home grown - developed, implemented, and managed by internal resources
  • Mixed - developed, implemented, and managed by a mix of internal and third party resources
  • Completely managed - developed, implemented, and managed by a third-party IoT platform provider, end to end
  • I don't know


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This chart shows the breakdown of how each group of respondents answered the question.

A significant majority (68.1%) of those with existing IoT solutions on the market end up with a mixed implementation, or a combination of home-grown and managed resources. We’re not sure if there’s any correlation, but a similar number (73.8%) of that group expressed Very Good or Good overall satisfaction with their IoT solutions.

Interestingly, among those who have not yet launched IoT products, an equal number (39.2%) answered that they planned to use a mixed approach or that they didn’t know how they would approach their IoT implementation. Extrapolating from the results of the experienced group, we guess that most of those “don’t know” respondents will likely end up with mixed implementations, too.

Is DIY Losing Steam? 

At first we were surprised that fewer of the respondents who haven’t implemented IoT products expect to use home-grown resources than those in the already enabled group (16.8% compared to 26.3%). 

Then we wondered: Does this difference reflect the fact that there were fewer third-party IoT solutions available when the already-enabled crowd began their implementations? Our survey also revealed that more than a quarter—27.5%—of those with IoT-enabled products have been offering them for more than three years.  

Or perhaps those that haven’t yet launched IoT-enabled products are more educated about the potential pitfalls and difficulty of trying to build their own IoT solution from scratch. 

Whatever the reason, it’s clear that most of those who are developing IoT products will avoid going it entirely alone and avoid depending entirely on third-party IoT resources.

Find out how an IoT platform can help you have the best of both worlds: proven IoT technology from experts who specialize in the IoT, along with the flexibility to use your in-house teams and/or third-party solutions where those approaches make sense. Whether you use an IoT platform for some or all of your IoT implementation, find out how we at Ayla Networks can help you achieve your IoT goals—rapidly, securely, and affordably. 

Be sure to check out the first post in this series on the IoT survey “Biggest Opportunities and Challenges of IoT-Enabled Products and Services,” which provided an overview of the survey results, and the second IoT survey post, which suggested that those waiting on the IoT sidelines might be overestimating IoT challenges and underestimating IoT benefits. And stay tuned for the upcoming installments in this series:

  • Survey Highlights #4: Top considerations for creating IoT-enabled products
  • Survey Highlights #5: Future directions for IoT