According to the second annual IoT Developer Survey, security is the top concern of IoT developers. The survey, which polled 528 IoT developers, was conducted by the Eclipse IoT Working Group in partnership with the IEEE IoT and the AGILE-IoT research project.
Of developers working in organizations that have deployed IoT solutions, nearly half (48.3%) identified security as their leading concern. In the same group of respondents, interoperability and performance were the second and third biggest concerns, with 31.9% and 21%, respectively.
As Ian Skerrett, VP of Marketing and Ecosystem at the Eclipse Foundation, notes, security "is a difficult issue that needs to be solved." As more and more devices get connected to the IoT, security becomes more complicated and the risks associated with vulnerabilities become more serious. Not only can vulnerabilities in IoT applications be the source of privacy breaches, as the IoT extends its reach to things like cars, security vulnerabilities could theoretically put lives in danger.
As industry rapidly matures, trends and leaders emerge
In this year's IoT Developer Survey, nearly half (46%) of those polled indicated that their company is developing and deploying IoT solutions, and 29% indicated that their company plans to within the next 18 months, suggesting that adoption of IoT technologies is accelerating.
Given that, it's not surprising that notable trends and industry leaders have become apparent.
One of the most prominent trends is that adoption of HTTP and MQTT as the IoT message protocols of choice. Roughly 61% and 52% of survey respondents are stated that they're using HTTP and MQTT, respectively. The adoption of HTTP is understandable given the existing popularity of the protocol on the Web. On the other hand, MQTT's rise can be attributed to its creator, IBM. As Skerrett notes, "The success of MQTT is a testament to IBM’s strategy to standardize MQTT at OASIS and start the Eclipse Paho project. It really is a perfect case study for using open source and open standards to gain broad industry adoption."
Open source is also dominating the IoT landscape. A whopping 73% of IoT developers have selected Linux as the OS they're running their IoT applications on, and 58% of the developers polled say they're actively involved in the open source community.
On the hosting front, Amazon is the cloud infrastructure provider IoT developers are utilizing at the highest clip, but private cloud solutions are also being widely used. Interesting, Microsoft Azure is seeing more traction than other providers like Google Cloud Platform. Skerrett suggests this might be due to the fact that Microsoft has targeted IoT use cases.
While the IoT is still nascent and issues like security and performance still need to be addressed, the second IoT Developer Survey suggests that the path forward for the IoT could be more predictable than some might expect, at least as far as leading technologies and providers are concerned. According to Skerrett, who compared the 2015 and 2016 survey results, "Interestingly enough, not a lot has changed. Many of the trends and highlights...are consistent with the 2015 results."