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Money-making opportunities associated with the Internet of Things (IoT) are coming into focus for companies across the information technology (IT) channel, new research from the technology industry trade association CompTIA reveals.

CompTIA’s Internet of Things Trends and Opportunities report finds that 23 percent of channel companies surveyed say they’ve already made money from Internet of Things offerings, compared to just 8 percent in 2015. Looking forward, one-third of channel firms expect to make money from IoT in the next 12 months.

“The channel is making significant progress with monetizing the IoT opportunity and, unlike past years, view themselves as strong profitability candidates,” said Seth Robinson, senior director, technology analysis, CompTIA.

Stumbling blocks to widespread IoT deployments remain in play and will likely be there for the foreseeable future. Concerns about costs and return on investment; technical hurdles; and liability, privacy, security and other regulatory matters are some of the major inhibitors.

Still, three-quarters of channel firms in the CompTIA survey said they have a more positive view of IoT than they did a year ago. Another 21 percent have not changed their opinion over the past 12 months, a group that certainly includes firms that were bullish on Internet of Things  to begin with.

Robinson said there are good reasons for channel companies to look favorably on IoT.

“First, the complexity of IoT projects is beyond what many companies can handle internally, especially on the SMB end of the spectrum,” he explained. “Second, many areas of IoT are essentially extensions of the skills and lines of business that solution providers already have.”

Consulting is currently the most popular Internet of Things  channel offering, with 40 percent of companies offering something in this space. The next most popular offering is security, provided by 36 percent of firms. Analytics, managed services, custom app development, reselling, and infrastructure services are offered by between 30 percent and 35 percent of companies.

Some IT solution providers are carving out unique niches in the Internet of Things market. Four such companies are featured in a complementary whitepaper published by CompTIA.

  • Presidio, Inc. provides a fleet management solution for a Texas school district, allowing administrators to track student safety and bus routes across 625 square miles.
  • Dimension Data empowered the Tour de France with a range of Internet of Things  applications – including custom network transported sensor information from bicycles – to deepen fan engagement.
  • Axians helped to develop an in-building IoT lighting system that enabled a European energy network company to slash its energy consumption by up to 70 percent.
  • Impetus Technologies created a factory floor IoT system that helped a customer improve its manufacturing processes and reduce the volume of product defects.

CompTIA’s Internet of Things Trends and Opportunities report is available