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Despite Salesforce push, IoT adoption slow to take hold

SAN FRANCISCO -- This year, Dreamforce 2015 attendees learned about new offerings from Salesforce, including the company's Internet of Things offering, the IoT Cloud. Products such as Lightning Experience -- a more mobile- and user-friendly version of Salesforce's development platform -- and the new Health Cloud also drew interest.

But are companies ready to exploit these new offerings and extract real business value from them? Jeff Kaplan, managing director at consultancy THINKStrategies, said companies are examining whether investing in IoT is cost-effective but are slow to adopt the technology.

"We are teetering at the top of the hype cycle for IoT," Kaplan said. "But there's no question that the hype is already out-pacing adoption."

Kaplan said IoT's complicated implementation process is a barrier, as is the need for buy-in from different business units. Once a strategy is in place, companies have to decide how they will use IoT and whether they need third parties to help implement it. Those determinations could take a couple of years, Kaplan said, as even companies who are pioneering IoT implementations are still building toward a full rollout.

"There's going to be a long IoT adoption cycle, and how long will Salesforce and others continue to foster that before it becomes a full reality?" Kaplan asked.

Kaplan also discussed Salesforce's IoT Cloud strategy, as well as other products such as its Thunder platform, on which Lightning Experience was built upon; the new Health Cloud; and on the partnership between Salesforce and Microsoft and how it will affect IoT adoption.

"If [systems] don't interoperate and communicate with each other," Kaplan said, "the whole idea of having a connected environment [falls apart]."

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