You might think that the Internet of Things (IoT) was custom made for the insurance industry. After all, what could be more useful to all those actuarial tables than detailed, real-world information from billions of IoT sensors in a wide variety of devices? In fact, we\u2019re already seeing the beginnings of insurance uses of IoT, including auto insurance companies that give discounts for drivers willing to have their vehicles\u2014and their driving habits\u2014tracked.\nBut according to a new IoT and the State of the Insurance Industry Study from LexisNexis, the message hasn\u2019t penetrated very far into the famously conservative field. Top-line results from the survey reveal a clear disconnect between what insurance companies think about IoT and what they\u2019re actually doing about it.\n\nIoT in insurance:\u00a0Lots of interest, limited use\nOn the one hand, the hype around the IoT has had some effect: seven in 10 of the 600 auto, home, life and commercial insurance professionals surveyed said IoT data is important to their company strategy today, and even more believe it will be important over the next five years. Almost half (48 percent) said \u201cthe ability to collect and use IoT data will define industry leaders.\u201d That\u2019s great, but given the rest of the results, insurance industry interest in IoT doesn\u2019t seem to run very deep.\n LexisNexis\nAs it turns out, only 21 percent of respondents say their companies have an IoT strategy at all. Worse, a minuscule 7 percent say they have the \u201chuman and technology resources required\u201d to use IoT to make critical decisions. Even among respondents who actually collect IoT data from \u201ctelematics, wearables, connected home and properties,\u201d an embarrassingly low 5 percent use that data in their day-to-day analytics.\nHmmm. If you\u2019re not using IoT in decision-making or analytics, why are you bothering to collect the data in the first place?\nIs IoT tactical instead of strategic?\nAccording to LexisNexis, \u201cone reason the insurance industry is lagging could be that most carriers think of IoT at a tactical rather than a strategic level. When asked to define IoT, most did so in tactical terms like \u2018a network of connected devices.\u2019 Few respondents discussed IoT in terms of strategic uses for underwriting, claims and other analytics.\u201d\nThe company also cited perceived barriers around \u201cdata governance, security concerns, and proprietary \u2026 data.\u201d\nI could go on, but you can check out LexisNexis\u2019 interactive infographic if you want more detail on the survey and the insurance industry.\nEnough talk about IoT, time to prove the ROI\nTo me, though, the real takeaway here isn\u2019t that one particular industry isn\u2019t yet making big use of the Internet of Things, no matter how perfect a fit it may seem. The bigger picture is that this kind of disconnect around IoT is all too common right now across a wide spectrum of industries.\nEveryone is \u201cinterested\u201d in IoT, but few have any firm idea when or how they\u2019re actually going to implement it or benefit from it.\nGoing forward, I think it\u2019s time we stop judging IoT by the hype and interest it generates, or even by the number of devices in use. The key now is how are enterprises (and individuals) actually using IoT, and what real-world benefits are they deriving from it.\nThe LexisNexis study suggests that many insurance organizations may be hanging back, waiting for a more demonstrable set of ROI numbers. Given the overall state of IoT, I find it hard to argue with that approach.