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July 14, 2016

8 in 10 businesses bet on IoT for future success as Internet of Things goes mainstream

News: 4 in 10 organisations already run fully based on IoT; board involvement crucial to success.

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The boom in IoT products and services has not gone unnoticed in the business world as nearly eight in ten companies globally admit IoT will be critical to their future success.

According to Vodafone’s fourth annual IoT Barometer Report, the growth in understanding the impact of the IoT has led to spending in IoT being increased in at least 89% of companies over the last year.

To help drive growth, the report says that boards are crucial. Businesses where the board is involved in IoT purchases are more likely to have increased their number of IoT projects in the past 12 months.

They are also significantly more likely to say that IoT is critical to their success, at 86% versus an average of 77%.

Of the 1,096 respondents from 17 countries around the world, 63% of IoT adopters said they have seen significant returns on investment (ROI), up from 59% in last year's report.

21% of organisations seeing significant ROI from IoT said that their company’s revenue has increased by more than 10% in the past year.

According to Vodafone, there is a strong link between the ROI that businesses see from their IoT initiatives and the number of projects they have underway, plus the share of the overall IT budget they allocate to IoT.

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As a result, 24% of the IT budget in the respondent’s companies is now exclusively directed towards IoT. This is more than what they spend with cloud and hosting (23%), data analytics (22%) or mobility (23%).

However, 90% of IoT adopters warned that IoT can only deliver real value if companies effectively use the data it generates. 79% of adopters seeing significant ROI also admitted they feel safe sharing data.

Yet, 18% of businesses said that concerns about security breaches is a potential barrier to wider adoption of IoT in their organisation. 56% of all businesses said that IoT is no different fundamentally from any IT solution when it comes to security.

48% of those taking part in the study said their organisation was using IoT to support large-scale business transformation.

Adoption has been so quick over the last 12 months, that 37% of adopters said they already run their entire business on IoT.

The report has also found that IoT is an integral part to enterprise IT. More than 90% of adopters said they already integrate IoT data with cloud, mobile, analytics and ERP.

The majority of companies (51%) said that they have launched an IoT project around optimising the utilisation of assets and vehicles (such as fleet management, for example).

Other projects include reducing facilities operating costs (48%), improving the safety and security of people and sites (46%), automating supply-chain processes from manufacturing to consumption (42%), building new connected product and service categories (41%), and improving the efficiency, safety and sustainability of public space.

As for the future, within the next two years Vodafone believes that questions around IoT will shift from if a company should adopt IoT, to how to best make use of it.

Another expected trend is that IoT will increasingly be treated as indistinguishable from business processes. It will be part of the fabric of the organisation.

Regarding security, IoT will be absorbed into overall IT security practices and businesses will invest in actively protecting it as a mission-critical asset.

Another expected shift is around business focus when it comes to engage with their customers. IoT allows an ongoing engagement and companies will have to make good use of these capabilities.

Vodafone Group IoT Director Erik Brenneis, said: "Three-quarters of the companies we interviewed now recognise that the IoT 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 are 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."

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