As any manufacturer can confirm, it’s a long road from Internet of Things (IoT) idea to market-ready connected product.

In our recent survey on the “Biggest Opportunities and Challenges of IoT-Enabled Products and Services,” we peered into both ends of that road. We asked manufacturers about their top considerations for evaluating IoT technologies as they embarked on their connected-product development. And for those manufacturers already marketing IoT products, we asked them to look back and tell us what they’d most like to improve.

Cost Still Dominates IoT Evaluation Considerations

To find out how survey respondents went about choosing the IoT technologies they’d use to develop their connected products, we asked the following question: What is the main factor you are considering when evaluating IoT solutions?

The answer options were:

  • Cost
  • Time to market
  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Global availability
  • Integrations
  • Customer support
  • Data analytics
  • Other (please specify)

One of the first questions in our online survey divided respondents into two groups: those whose companies have IoT products in the market, and those that don’t. 

There was a fair amount of consistency between the two groups in their answers to the question about their IoT technology evaluation priorities. Both rated cost as their #1 consideration and by similar percentages: 28.1% for those with experience launching IoT products to the market, and 26.6% for IoT newbies. Both groups rated integrations second and security third; both groups rated scalability about the same (7.5% and 7.0%); and neither group gave global availability or customer support much attention. But the group that had already implemented IoT solutions was twice as likely—13.8% versus 7.0%—to consider time to market when making a decision and almost three times as likely—7.5% versus 2.8%—to consider data analytics as a top consideration. These results suggest that data analytics and time to market are more important in reality than most IoT newcomers realize. Put another way, perhaps it takes getting an IoT product into production to appreciate the importance of data analytics and time to market in overall IoT business success.

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Additionally, some of the “other” answers were interesting, with both groups mentioning that they considered things such as ROI, the real value to end customers, strategic fit, competitive dynamics, and overall quality and functionality of the IoT technologies they were evaluating.

Priorities Change Slightly When Looking for Improvements 

The survey asked those who have already launched IoT products, “What areas of your IoT solution are you most interested in improving?”

Respondents were able to choose as many of the following answers as they liked:

  1. Cost 
  2. Time to market for future products 
  3. Security 
  4. Scalability 
  5. Global availability 
  6. Integrations 
  7. Customer support 
  8. Data analytics 
  9. Other (please specify)

Slightly more than half (51.3%) named cost as an area they’d like to improve, followed closely by data analytics (48.1%) and security (47.5%). Also receiving healthy numbers of responses were integrations (43.8%), time to market for future products (43.3%), and scalability (36.3%). Lagging behind were customer support (18.8%) and global availability (16.3%). The 5.6% who answered “other” listed everything from power consumption and performance to industry acceptance, user experience, technology and channel partnerships, and compelling value proposition to consumers as areas for future improvement.

One point that jumps out of these results is how important data analytics becomes to manufacturers marketing IoT products—growing from a barely considered factor by those evaluating IoT solutions—both IoT newbies and those with IoT products on the market—to the second-most important area of desired improvement among those who have already launched IoT products.


Similarly though less dramatically, scalability went from 7.5% and 7.0% as a factor for consideration in evaluating IoT technologies to 36.3% as an area of desired improvement for future IoT product development. So although even experienced IoT developers don’t put much emphasis on scalability when evaluating which IoT technologies they will use, they do see scalability as an area that warrants much greater attention for improvement in future IoT product development.

No matter where your priorities lie in evaluating IoT technologies, an IoT platform can help you achieve all of them—more rapidly, securely, and affordably. Find out how we at Ayla Networks can help you not only begin your IoT product development journey on the right foot, but also be more likely to look back on the journey with fewer regrets. 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; the second IoT survey post, which suggested that those waiting on the IoT sidelines might be overestimating IoT challenges and underestimating IoT benefits; and the third IoT survey post, which described how most manufacturers are taking, or most likely will take, a mixed approach to IoT development—combining in-house and outsourced resources. Astay tuned for final installment in this series: 

  • Survey Highlights #5: Future directions for IoT