There is little disputing the fact that we have entered the Internet of Things (IoT) era. Indeed, if you are looking for proof turn to the recently released Fourth Annual IoT Barometer Report from Vodafone. The survey was conducted by Circle Research in April and May 2016 and involved more than 1,096 companies across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the UK and the USA. To say that its findings are illuminating might be a bit of an understatement.
Here is just a sample of what the 2016 Vodafone (News - Alert) IoT Barometer Report found:
- Eighty-nine percent of companies investing in IoT have increased their budgets over the last 12 months;
- Seventy-six percent of all companies interviewed believe that taking advantage of IoT technologies will be critical for the future success of any organization;
- Sixty-three percent of IoT adopters are seeing "significant" returns on investment, up from 59 percent in last year's Report; and
- IoT investment now accounts for 24 percent of the average IT budget, on a par with cloud computing or data analytics.
The chart below on IT budget is an eye-opener.
The Report also found that IoT technologies play a key role in mainstream business activities in an increasing number of companies. Highlights included:
- Forty-eight percent of companies interviewed are using IoT technologies to support large-scale business transformation, rising to 61 percent in the Asia-Pacific region;
- Fifty-two percent of consumer electronics companies interviewed are using IoT technologies as the basis for a new generation of applications for connected homes; and
- Forty-six percent of all companies interviewed said they intend to develop new IoT-based products and services over the next two years.
Vodafone Group IoT Director Erik Brenneis said: "Three-quarters of the companies we interviewed now recognize that the Internet of Things is a new industrial revolution that will change how people work and live forever, and almost half the companies surveyed across multiple countries and sectors told us they're already planning to bring connected network intelligence to millions of devices and processes over the next two years. 2016 is the year the Internet of Things entered the mainstream."
Comments in the report from Machina Research are spot on.
Many businesses are still just dipping their toes in the water of IoT, with proofsof-concept and trials. For other, more progressive, companies it has become a strategically critical issue permeating the entire operation as they recognize that the additional capabilities, feedback mechanisms, closer client relations and business models facilitated by the IoT will be essential to their future success.
Enterprises that have, with the explicit backing of senior management, committed their future to IoT will inevitably assign greater resources, and the impact of their schemes will almost inevitably be proportionately greater. In fact, the more sophisticated the IoT implementation and the more ingrained it becomes in the enterprise’s operations, the more difficult it becomes to identify a discrete ‘IoT’ element of IT, or any other, budget. IoT is just the way that these companies work.
Readers are encouraged to download the entire 36 page report which contains a wealth of useful insights. What is clear from the report is that IoT is no longer a coming attraction. It is here and now and its adoption is already being viewed as critical to success globally and in virtually every vertical market.
Edited by Alicia Young