AVG Study Reveals Small Businesses are Positive about Future Opportunities with the Internet of Things

Canadian businesses biggest concerns are cost, complexity and risk while 84 percent say humans are still the weakest link

AMSTERDAM and OTTAWA, Ontario, May 21, 2014 /CNW/ - The majority of Canadian small businesses (98 per cent) believe the Internet of Things (IoT) will bring fresh opportunities for their business according to a new study released today by AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG), the online security company for devices, data and people.

While 42% agreed that IoT will mean more time spent dealing with security hacks this was more than offset by the 84% of Canadian respondents who said that human error would continue to give them more concern than smart devices.

"To date much of the debate around the so-called Internet of Things has centered on big business," said Mike Foreman, AVG's General Manager, SMB. "We wanted to find out what small businesses know about everyday objects that have built-in Internet connectivity by focusing on the perceived pros and cons of IoT and its likely impact on their operations."

The research*, which interviewed more than 2,000 small businesses in Canada, Australia, UK and USA also showed that there is much more to do to help them understand what IoT actually means. Of the 250 businesses surveyed in Canada, 61% of Canadian companies understood IoT to be a network of connected devices that are able to communicate with one another. The Canadian result compared to 57% overall.

Asked to list their concerns about Internet-connected devices, Canadian small businesses named their top three as:

  1. Risk – 58% of the Canadian sample think the IoT will result in their organisation being more open to security breaches or hacking (53% overall, 54% USA). And 44% of those surveyed agreed that security software aimed at IoT would put their mind at ease (overall 57%, USA 65%)
  2. Complexity – 48% of Canadian respondents said data security would be more complex (48% overall and USA) and 36% said backups would become more complex (33% overall)
  3. Cost –44% of Canadians said that cost is a reason preventing them from implementing the Internet of Things (overall 45%, USA 48%)

"Research plainly shows that while there is a lot of enthusiasm for IoT among small businesses, they also have serious reservations when it comes to cost, complexity and risk," said Marco La Vecchia, AVG's VP Channel Sales based in Ottawa. "This demand for more backup, security, support and other services are especially good news for IT service providers with small business customers. One likely side effect as IoT spreads over the next 2-3 years will be to increase small business reliance on services from IT providers."

A summary of the other main findings in the study were:

  • The majority of Canadian respondents, 71% report IoT as being relevant to their business to some extent (overall 70%, USA 80%)
  • Of Canadian respondents, 58% (overall 59%, USA 65%) said the main benefits of IoT will come from increased access and 64 per cent from faster access (overall 60%, USA 66%) to more data along. Of the Canadian businesses surveyed 60% see productivity gains (overall 60%, USA 69%) and 54% (overall 49%, USA 56%) said it will help customer satisfaction. However, only 41% of Canadians and expected it to help them be more profitable (overall 42%, USA 51%).
  • Canadians said the top 5 devices that could present a security threat to Canadian businesses were: IP Phones (68%), CCTV (38%), Factory Equipment (32%), Sensors (29%) and Smart TV (26%)
  • The top reasons respondents associated with the Internet of Things that are preventing small businesses from buying and implementing smart devices were cost, ( 44% of Canadians compared to 45% overall, and 48% in the USA), and security (42% of Canadians, compared to 44% overall and 51% in the USA). Lack of demand was cited by 26% of Canadians compared to 26% overall, and 19% in the USA

* AVG commissioned independent technology market research specialist Vanson Bourne to undertake this research. 2000 interviews were carried out during April 2014 with IT decision-makers of organizations with of 1 – 500 employees. Interviews were performed across four countries: UK, US, Canada and Australia. Respondents to this research came from a range of industry sectors, with only the public sector excluded.

Interviews were conducted online using a rigorous multi-level screening process to ensure that only suitably qualified candidates were given the opportunity to participate.

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About AVG Technologies
AVG is the online security company providing leading software and services to secure devices, data and people. AVG has over 187 million active users, as of March 31, 2014, using AVG's products and services including Internet security, performance optimization, and personal privacy and identity protection. By choosing AVG's products, users become part of a trusted global community that engages directly with AVG to provide feedback and offer mutual support to other customers.

All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

www.avg.com

NOTES TO EDITORS
* Research carried out by Vanson Bourne of 2,000 small businesses between 1 and 100 employees (250 in Australia, 250 in Canada, 500 in UK and 1,000 in USA) during April 2014.

Keep in touch with AVG

SOURCE: AVG Technologies

For further information:

Canadian Media Contact, Paul Chater, Marshall Fenn Communications for AVG, paulc@marshall-fenn.com, 416-962-3366, ext. 232

http://www.avg.com

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