IoT failures affect 64 percent of global users, as cloud complexity increases, Dynatrace reveals

52 percent of consumers worldwide are now using Internet of Things (IoT) devices, yet 64 percent of those have already encountered performance issues, according to a global survey of 10,000 consumers, announced Tuesday by software intelligence company, Dynatrace.

On average, consumers experience 1.5 digital performance problems every day, and 62 percent of people fear the number of problems they encounter, and the frequency, will increase due to the rise of IoT.

For organizations deploying IoT strategies, these results indicate a critical need to master two things. Firstly, escalating IT complexity, thanks to new cloud technologies, microservices and the pressure to innovate faster. Secondly, the necessity to build out well-planned IoT monitoring and performance strategies to ensure sound application delivery and a great digital experience.

Smart home applications and devices are already in homes worldwide as a step towards adopting advancing technologies. Smart locks are being used for security, while systems like Nest are starting to be used to control thermostats, lighting, and cameras. This study shows that consumers are worried that IoT performance problems will lead to them being locked out of their homes, and their heating and lights not working – or more worryingly, losing overall control of their homes.

The company reported that 39 percent of consumers using smart meters have experienced performance problems. In Germany, this rises to 59 percent and in Brazil, 54 percent. Therefore, it’s not surprising that 81 percent of consumers said they were concerned about being overcharged for water, gas, and electricity usage, due to technology and software faults.

The digital performance failures consumers are already experiencing with everyday technology is potentially making them wary of other uses of IoT. 85 percent of respondents said they are concerned that self-driving cars will malfunction – leading to high speed collisions. Even more concerning, 72 percent feel it is likely software glitches in self-driving cars will cause serious injuries and fatalities. Furthermore, 84 percent of consumers said they wouldn’t use self-driving cars due to a fear of software glitches.

Dave Anderson, digital performance expert, elaborated on the report findings and the challenges they pose to corporations, “The delivery chain behind every connected device is extremely complex. Businesses are already struggling with cloud complexity, but IoT magnifies this with sensors, masses of new data and dynamic containerized workloads.

“Consumers are already reporting problems with everything from medical applications, smart meters, car door locks and virtual personal assistants, to smart thermostats and fridges. Their patience is at an all-time low and they simply won’t tolerate a poor experience. Yet, we haven’t even seen the era of IoT take off to its full potential – it’s just getting started. The imperative is on companies to find ways to process, analyse and manage the IoT delivery chain holistically, and with deep insight, so they know exactly what’s happening and where issues are arising in real time. This is not an easy task.”

“The reality is IoT glitches could be fatal. Consumers are understandably concerned and that’s why it will be important for the industry to demonstrate it’s taking a new, more robust approach to ensure software doesn’t compromise our safety,” Anderson added.

Aside from self-driving cars, 86 percent of consumers expressed concern that digital locks will see them locked out of their vehicles, while 67 percent predict serious issues on the roads due to performance problems with smart city traffic lights.

Concerns around IoT performance were also underlined when consumers were asked about healthcare, another area where software issues are a massive concern. 62 percent of consumers stated they would not trust IoT devices to administer medication; this sentiment is strongest in the over 55 age range, with 74 percent expressing distrust.

There were also specific concerns about the use of IoT devices to monitor vital signs, such as heart rate and blood pressure. 85 percent of consumers expressed concern that performance problems with these types of IoT devices could compromise clinical data.

As well as the automotive and healthcare industry, the home is also set to be transformed by the IoT. Smart locks are used for security, while other IoT devices control thermostats, lighting, and cameras. However, the research revealed 83 percent of consumers are concerned about losing control of their smart home due to digital performance problems. More specifically, the survey showed 73 percent of consumers fear being locked in or out of the smart home due to bugs in smart home technology; 68 percent of consumers are worried they won’t be able to control the temperature in the smart home due to malfunctions in smart home technology; 64 percent of consumers fear not being able to control lights in the smart home due to glitches in smart home technology; and 81 percent of consumers are concerned that technology or software problems with smart meters will lead to them being overcharged for gas, electricity, and water.

This report, commissioned by Dynatrace, is based on an online survey conducted by Opinium Research, of 10,002 respondents with 2,000 in the UK, 2,000 in the USA, and 1,000 respondents in France, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Singapore, and China respectively. The survey includes responses from 4,796 male and 5,206 female adults grouped by age (18-34, 35-54 and 55+).


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