Survey Says: Enterprises Are Turning to Open Source for IoT and Edge Computing

The Eclipse Foundation has released the results of its "2021 IoT and Edge Commercial Adoption Survey," which analyzed responses from hundreds of executives at enterprises implementing IoT and edge computing solutions.

The survey analysis revealed a range of adoption trends, major concerns, and implementation challenges, among other insights. The "key takeaways" drawn from the survey data, according to the foundation, include:

  • IoT technologies are being adopted at an accelerated rate. 47% of respondents currently deploy IoT solutions and an additional 39% plan to deploy within the next 12 to 24 months.
  • Edge computing adoption is also picking up. 54% of organizations are either utilizing or planning to utilize edge computing technologies within 12 months. Another 30% have plans to evaluate edge deployments over the next 12 to 24 months.
  • 74% of organizations factor open source into their deployment plans, a 14% increase over the  2019 survey. This clearly demonstrates that the dominant IoT & Edge platforms will either be open source or based on open source.
  • The top three IoT and edge operational challenges are: 1) End-to-end IoT solution monitoring and management; 2) Device management; and 3) Security (network/devices/data).
  • There is a trend towards a Hybrid Cloud strategy. 44% of respondents suggest that their IoT deployments are using, or will use, a Hybrid Cloud (i.e. composed of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures such as private and public), an increase from 22% in 2019.

This survey, the third of its kind for the foundation, was conducted between January 12 and March 15, 2021. The survey’s objective is to gain a better understanding of the IoT and edge computing ecosystems by identifying the requirements, priorities, and challenges faced by organizations that deploy and use commercial solutions, including those based on open-source technologies. The survey was promoted on social media and on,, More than 300 "IoT and edge professionals" responded, the foundation says.

“IoT and edge computing technologies go hand-in-hand and these survey results tell a clear story, ” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, in a statement. “Real-world adoption is accelerating in both domains and open source is firmly established in production deployments across a range of industrial use cases.”

The survey  is sponsored by the Eclipse IoT and Edge Native Working Groups. It is meant to complement the annual IoT Developer Survey, which the Eclipse Foundation has conducted for the last seven years. The Foundation’s IoT and Edge Native communities represent one of the largest open-source collaborations in the world, spanning 47 projects from 49 members and over 32 million lines of code produced, according to the foundation. Eclipse IoT and edge projects have been adopted by leading organizations across a variety of verticals to deliver commercial IoT and edge-based solutions and services.

"[The survey] not only provides valuable insights into how organizations are adopting IoT and edge technologies, but also how open source is a vital part of their digital transformation journeys," said Deb Bryant, senior director of Red Hat's Open Source Program Office, in a statement. (Red Hat is a member of the IoT & Edge Native Working Group.) "The survey results showcase that the number of organizations incorporating open source technologies into their deployment plans has increased each year. Those looking to grow and evolve their organization should seriously consider integrating open source or open source-based IoT and edge platforms into their deployment plans.”

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].