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Cisco survey finds IoT firms need to address trust issues

Steve Rogerson
January 3, 2018
Cisco has surveyed 3000 consumers and found that businesses need to address consumer trust issues to increase confidence and accelerate IoT adoption.
Based on the survey, the IoT Value & Trust Paradox report is designed to provide businesses with actionable insights on how to increase consumer confidence in and adoption of IoT services.
The survey results show that, while most consumers believe IoT services deliver significant value for them, very few understand or trust how their IoT data are being managed and used. This conclusion has revealed a paradox: despite their lack of trust in IoT data security, consumers on the whole say they are unwilling to disconnect from IoT services, even temporarily.
These findings indicate that the market is approaching the point of no return at which consumers irrevocably commit to the IoT being an integral part of their lives. The IoT is becoming so deeply integrated into consumers’ daily experiences that it is easier to tolerate uncertainty and risk than to disconnect.
While the survey reveals that consumers are willing to accept risk and trade off value for trust, they do so reluctantly. Their desire for transparency and visibility into how their data are being used remains strong. Companies that can resolve the paradox for their customers have the opportunity to accelerate and sustain the growth of their IoT businesses.
More than twice as many consumers recognise personal IoT devices than public ones. When consumers were provided with a broad list of devices and asked to identify which were part of the IoT, 63 per cent on average correctly identified personal IoT devices such as wearables and home security systems, while only 27 per cent were aware of public IoT implementations such as street lighting, energy meters and traffic systems.
Across the IoT spectrum, the perceived value that the IoT brings to consumers’ lives is quite high: 53 per cent of respondents feel the IoT makes their lives more convenient, 47 per cent say the IoT makes them more efficient, and 34 per cent say the IoT increases their safety.
While consumers are seeing increasing value in IoT services, they are very concerned about the security of their data and how they are being used. Only nine per cent of respondents say they trust that their data collected and shared through the IoT are secure. And only 14 per cent feel companies do a good job of informing them what data are being collected and how they are used.
Consumers value the IoT, but don’t trust it. Despite this lack of trust, they are not willing to disconnect: 42 per cent said the IoT was too integrated into their daily lives to disconnect from these devices and services, regardless of the perceived risk.
“As more companies build their businesses around IoT services, they need to first understand the importance of educating customers on how they are using their data to deliver new, valuable services that will enhance their lives,” said Macario Namie, head of IoT strategy at Cisco. “Consumers are asking for more visibility into IoT data practices, and to increase transparency around your IoT data governance and management, you first need to be able to determine who gets what data, where and when. Today’s IoT platforms solve this problem and can give you the ability to enhance consumer confidence and trust, which can lead to greater adoption of your IoT services.”
The report recommends that businesses use these insights and implement the following steps to address the gap between value and trust in the IoT:
·       Establish a clear, concise data policy and share that with users: Companies must be able to provide transparency into how they are using and securing data and how this helps improve their customers’ experiences.
·       Take granular control of data: To increase transparency around IoT data governance and management, companies first need an IoT platform that can help determine who gets what data, where and when.
·       Create accountability throughout the IoT value chain: Companies must evaluate all the providers in their IoT value chain and put IoT services in place to enforce minimum security standards and requirements so they can hold each provider accountable.