Avnet: IoT Security Biggest Challenge for Developers

More than one-third of developers have sought a partner to help them bring a product to market.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

January 4, 2019

3 Min Read
IoT and Sensors

IoT and sensor technology experienced double-digit growth last year, yet security for IoT continues to be the greatest challenge facing electronic product developers.

That’s according to new research from Avnet, which surveyed 1,190 members of the 1.3 million strong Hackster.io and element14 engineering communities. It asked where they are focusing their development efforts, what the challenges are and what has changed over the past year.

Developers also increasingly are turning to partners to help them bring a product to market. More than one-third of developers have sought a partner’s help, according to the survey.


Avnet’s Bob Merriman

Bob Merriman, Avnet’s director of strategic planning, tells us developers are looking for support from one partner to bring their products to market, and those partners with security expertise are well positioned for growth.

“The primary message (for MSSPs) to take away is that MSSPs should continue to invest in areas their customers, the developers, are most invested in, in order to put themselves in a stronger position,” he said. “On the other hand, developers should be looking for partners with those established areas of expertise — or, perhaps even more valuable would be a partner that can help guide them throughout the product life cycle with expertise in every area that proves important.”

Some 61 percent of respondents said IoT and sensors are the most important technologies for products they’re designing today. IoT products saw the most significant growth in importance, up 14 percent from last year, followed closely by drones and robotics projects, which were up 8 percent. More than one in four developers also said IoT is the most improved technology of 2018, followed closely by artificial intelligence (AI).

“The statistic I found the most surprising was that creators still view sensors as the most underrated technology driving innovation,” Merriman said. “I saw that and thought, ‘Sensors are underrated?’ There are sensors in everything these days! If creators still don’t think that sensors are getting the attention they deserve, it tells me that we’re not even close to seeing the peak of IoT products, which is truly exciting. It seems like the only limit on where we can go is the imagination of the startups and creators of today. It’s a very exciting time to be in the space and to have access to so much of the technology that’s driving IoT growth.”

More than four in five (81 percent) of developers believe security for IoT remains the biggest technological hurdle in IoT deployment, according to the survey. Time is the greatest hindrance, respondents say overwhelmingly. They also say that cost is the biggest challenge in moving from design to manufacturing.

According to respondents, the most difficult elements of product development are identifying the best technology to use in their designs (26 percent), as well as obtaining product certification (22 percent). The most challenging aspect of bringing products to market is getting financing for development (34 percent).

However, developers saw some improvements over the past year. When asked which phase of product development has become easier, 58 percent pointed to developing and testing prototypes, which is up 17 percent from the prior year. Developers also found improvements in the process of identifying the best source for technologies (up 9 percent) and scaling production (up 16 percent).

“Developers have more access to resources and communities like ours, and this is helping accelerate the pace of bringing new products to market,” said Dayna Badhorn, Avnet’s vice president of emerging business. “IoT and sensors are leading the way in importance and impacting the design process. But survey respondents also noted these are the most underrated technologies when it comes to innovation, signaling that IoT and sensors will have an even greater impact as developers engage partners to help them take their ideas from prototype to production.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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