A report from the Vodafone Group offers some impressive figures backing the general consensus that corporate IoT use is hot.
The carrier’s IoT Barometer Report offers some eye-opening assessments. It found that the percentage of companies with more than 50,000 connected devices has doubled in the past year. Eighty-four percent of IoT adopters say that their use of IoT has grown during the past year, 51% say that the technology is increasing revenues and 66% of companies agree that “digital transformation is impossible without IoT.”
The wide-ranging study includes responses from 1,278 respondents in the U.S., Brazil, Ireland, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, China, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Corporate IoT Use
“Over the five years of this report we have seen the number of companies that have adopted IoT double, and projects have grown from small pilots to global rollouts of tens of thousands of connected devices,” said Vodafone director of IoT Erik Brenneis in a press release. “IoT is clearly here to stay and the future looks exciting as 79% of adopters are saying that IoT will have an enormous impact on the whole economy in the next five years. I believe we can now say that IoT has come of age and is proving itself across all industries and geographies.”
The report centers the growth in the Americas, where 19% of businesses using the IoT have connected more than 10,000 devices. Thirteen percent of such businesses have done so in Europe and 7% in the Asia-Pacific region. The report found that 67% of these large users have made significant returns on the investments, with energy and utility companies leading the charge.
Another sign that the IoT has deep traction is that the drivers are diverse. Users told Vodafone that the benefits include greater business insight, reduced costs and improved employee productivity.
Skeptics and even supporters of the IoT generally cite security as a key challenge. However, only 7% of companies with 10,000 connected devices identified security as their chief worry. Steps organizations are taking to meet the security challenge include increased training, retention of security specialists and recruitment of specialists.
The report also noted an increase in the types of connectivity supporting IoT projects. These include fixed line, LP-WANs, mobile and Wi-Fi.
The report validates earlier studies. In December, 2016, 451 Research found that 71% of enterprises collected IoT data during the fourth quarter of the year. That was a 3% increase over the third quarter. On the consumer side, research released the same month found that 62% of Americans own at least one IoT-connected device.