2019 Internet of Things (IoT) Barometer

March 2019 Editor's Choice, Integrated Solutions, IT infrastructure

Vodacom Business recently announced findings of its latest Internet of Things (IoT) Barometer 2019. In its sixth year, the IoT Barometer highlights a clear picture on how non-adopters of IoT business will have fallen behind rivals within a few years.

The Barometer also serves as a guide in terms of what’s happening around the world across all sectors, and where it’s headed. With responses from 1758 businesses world-wide, the Barometer finds that more than a third (34%) of businesses now make use of IoT, 70% of these adopters have moved beyond pilot stage and 95% of adopters are seeing the benefits of investment in the IoT technology as it moves into the mainstream.

Peter Malebye.
Peter Malebye.

Commenting on the results, Peter Malebye, managing executive for Vodacom Business IoT said: “IoT is central to business success in an increasingly digitised world, with 72% of adopters saying digital transformation is impossible without it. The good news is that IoT enablement platforms make the technology easier to deploy for businesses of all sizes and connectivity options like NB-IoT and 5G will make implantation easier and improve services. In this climate, companies need to be considering not if but rather how they will implement IoT, and they must also be fully committed to the technology to capitalise on the positive value/outcomes enabled by IoT.”

While use cases for IoT are varied, ranging from medical exoskeletons to connected tyres, the research has found that IoT impacts businesses regardless of size and sector. Sixty per cent of businesses that make use of IoT agree that it has either completely disrupted their industry or will do so in the next five years. Eighty-four per cent of adopters report growing confidence in IoT, with 83% increasing the scale of deployments to take advantage of full benefits.

Increasing returns

The report also grades businesses in IoT usage by assessing strategy, integration and implementation of IoT deployments. Globally the report found that 53% of adopters fall into the top two levels out of five. Regionally, the Americas is the most advanced, with 67% of adopters falling into the top two levels, compared to 51% in APAC and 46% in Europe. This suggests that businesses in the Americas are progressing faster than those in other markets, moving from individual projects to coordinated, strategic programmes.

The most advanced companies also saw the greatest return on investment in IoT. Eighty-seven per cent of those in the top level reported significant returns or benefits from IoT, compared to just 17% in the ‘beginner’s’ level. These benefits breed increasing reliance on IoT. Seventy-six per cent of adopters say IoT is mission-critical. Some are even finding it hard to imagine business without it — 8% of adopters say their ‘entire business depends on IoT’.

Malebye stated that looking to the future, new technology will continue to power the performance of IoT. In fact, he shared: “Over half (52%) of adopters plan to use 5G, which promises to support higher volumes of data, increase reliability and offer near-zero latency. Combined with mobile edge computing, which will process application traffic closer to the network edge, users can expect better performance, less risk and faster data speeds. The Barometer makes it clear that businesses are increasing their investment into IoT as they gain confidence and begin to develop more advanced solutions.

In the short term, adopters of IoT will continue to access reduced costs and improved efficiency, but increasingly ambitious projects will offer the opportunity to change business models. For example in cities heavy users of roads could pay more, encouraging the use of different modes of transport with knock-on benefits to public health and the environment.”

Vodacom IoT technologies are embedded within connected vehicles built by Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Lamborghini, Porsche, VW and Yamaha scooters. Vodafone’s IoT network and services also support smart meter capabilities for energy companies including Centrica, EDF and nPower and provide connectivity for consumer electronics products such as the Amazon Kindle and devices manufactured by Bosch, Panasonic, and Philips Lighting.

IoT in action

In the African continent, Vodacom has embarked on the process of the digitisation of the agriculture value chain. This will help enhance productivity, create sustainable relations between the various organic stakeholders and thus bring about stability and confidence in the agriculture sector. Through the Connected Farmer solution, the company is able to register, communicate and foster transactions between the emerging farmers.

Closer to home, in Ekurhuleni west of Johannesburg, last year Vodacom launched a citizen engagement mobile solution which provides the municipality with a real-time, two-way communication engagement platform through which citizens can report and resolve service delivery issues, from water to sanitation.

• In the education sector, Vodacom recently developed an innovation called, School Management Engagement App. This innovation seeks to improve administration, teaching and learning systems between the Department of Education and our schools in the Eastern Cape Province.

Report highlights

72% of adopters saying digital transformation is impossible without IoT

• 60% of businesses that use IoT agree that it has either completely disrupted their industry or will do so in the next five years

• More than a third (34%) of businesses now use IoT and 70% of these adopters have moved beyond pilot stage

• 95% of adopters are seeing the benefits of their investment in this technology as it moves into the mainstream, 53% of adopters report reduced operating costs

• 84% of adopters report growing confidence in IoT, with 83% saying the scale of deployments has grown

• 74% of businesses that use IoT say that non-adopters will have fallen behind rivals within five years

For more information contact Andile April, senior media and communications manager, Vodacom Business, +27 82 949 0834, andile.april@vodacom.co.za

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