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HPE at Mobile World Congress

Every February the mobile industry gets together in Barcelona, Spain for Mobile World Congress. It is one of the biggest trade shows on earth and collects everyone in the industry from infrastructure and backbone manufacturers to all the big service providers and handset makers right down to the smallest mobile application companies.

By John Oates

Internet of Things technology was one of the big themes with some wondering just when we will start to see real enterprise use of the technology.

But research released by HPE’s Aruba Networks at the show showed surprisingly high enterprise use of IoT and even more surprising satisfaction with what is still a relatively new technology. The research also found enterprises reporting high financial returns form their IoT investment.

Some 72 per cent of enterprises are already using IoT in the workplace. Of these 56 per cent are managing lighting and air conditioning systems, and the majority of enterprises are using IoT for location-based services.

Even more surprising 75 per cent of those surveyed claimed an increase in profitability as a result.

The average return on investment from IoT projects was 34 per cent while a quarter of those asked said they had seen returns of 40 per cent on investment.

Unusually IoT seems to be outperforming the hype and business expectations.

So while 58 per cent of businesses not using IoT expect it would increase profitability, a much higher 72 per cent of companies which are using IoT have seen increased profits.

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Adoption varies by sector – industrial enterprises are most likely to embraced the technology with 62 per cent having devices in use. These are most likely to be chemical sensors and picking systems.

31 per cent said IoT had most impact where it is used to monitor and maintain infrastructure.

Healthcare is also already using IoT, most commonly for patient sensors and to link X-ray and imaging devices. 22 per cent of healthcare executives said the number one use was for ‘remotely tracking by location’. 73 per cent of healthcare responders have seen cost savings as a result of IoT projects with 80 per cent saying this had led to an increase in innovation.

There are still serious issues to address. The major benefits of IoT are felt when companies use business analytics to exploit the data collected.

But the survey found that while 98 per cent of IoT users say they can analyse the data collected almost the same number, 97 per cent, say there are still challenges in getting value from the data.

Even more worrying a shocking 84 per cent of executives running IoT projects have experienced a breach of some kind relating to the technology. For 48 per cent this was malware and for 39 per cent some kind of spyware.

If adoption continues to accelerate this could pose a real risk for business unless a broad strategy to secure the network is adopted.

This requires a broader understanding of the technology which the survey suggests has not happened yet – over three quarters of HR and finance staff have not talked to IT departments about IoT.

There’s little doubt that IoT will form part of most enterprises’ infrastructure within two years – 82 per cent of companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa expect to have IoT networks in place by 2019.

There is a summary of the research, and a link to the full report, here:

Researchers spoke to 3,100 executives in 20 countries.

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