In advance of next week’s Internet of Things World 2018 in Santa Clara, California, conference organizers conducted a survey of 100 top IT executives to get their thoughts on the Internet of Things (IoT) and the biggest challenges facing these companies as they continue to roll out the IoT over a variety of applications.

As the survey data was tabulated, a host of interesting and telling trends begin to emerge. The five biggest IoT challenges reveal not only areas of challenge, but also areas of opportunity. By examining these current hurdles common to many companies, the technology sector can continue to work to improve IoT usability, which will ultimately aid them in implementing these technologies on a larger scale.

SCALABILITY STRUGGLES: As IoT ramps up in record numbers, many companies face an uphill battle in keeping the scalability ready to accommodate. The growing amount of work spells a myriad of challenges for companies not ready to function at optimum levels when dealing with rapidly changing custom solutions and the need to accommodate the fluid number of devices.

SECURITY CONCERNS: Security is a continual issue in the technology sector, especially in certain industries like finance and healthcare. However, the issue becomes compounded when dealing with emerging technologies such as the IoT. Nearly half of IT executives admit that they do not conduct valuable vulnerability testing to identify weak areas and head off future issues. Therefore, until such measures are taken, we will almost always see a lag in IoT security features.

IMPLEMENTATION QUESTIONS: Central among implementation strategies is who should be responsible for this rollout of new IoT projects. Technology executives report differing strategies on this approach, with some assigning the implementation to C-Suite, while others hand it off to IT or Operations.

DATA PROTECTION UNCERTAINTIES: Related to security is the challenges faced with protecting data. Over one-third of executives interviewed say that they are uncertain as to whether their IoT systems could protect crucial data. On a related note, nearly 40 percent of executives are not confident that their company has the capability to connect their IoT systems to divergent networks.

TO BLOCKCHAIN OR NOT TO BLOCKCHAIN: As blockchain continues to emerge as a more viable solution, many executives are struggling with the decision of whether or not to utilize this technology in the deployment of their IoT applications. Many IT experts believe that blockchain would assist in reducing security risks, building user confidence, and diminishing overhead costs.