Four ways the Internet of Things will impact the enterprise

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By 2016 more than half of businesses with 10,000+ employees are expected to embrace the technology. In a market as fast-changing as M2M, it can be hard to predict what’s going to happen, but there are four things we believe enterprises can be sure of…

Machine to machine (M2M) is coming of age for the MNC. During the early days of enterprise M2M, the technology – which connects machines and devices to the internet – was largely hidden from the eyes of the outside world. Today it is increasingly expanding into customer-facing processes, delivering better service and driving competitive edge as a result.

What will happen tomorrow? We have combined our M2M experience with data gathered during Vodafone’s M2M Adoption Barometer 2014 to make some predictions.


  1. What you do with data is critical – starting NOW

    The true value of M2M is wasted if ‘big data’ remains in a silo within one area of the enterprise. In the past, organisations just used data about stock levels within their supply chains to manage deliveries better. Today, enterprises are getting savvy, recognising the huge value of big data in processes across the business – for example, boosting sales through using existing data along with weather data to better forecast sales, set pricing and target promotions.

    Today, 75 per cent of M2M adopters say they are using analytics and 88 per cent expect to do so in three years’ time1. This reflects a more sophisticated approach to big data and M2M, an approach that will continue to expand, boosting return on investment as it spreads.

  2. Security and privacy standards will emerge

    More than 72 per cent of companies currently see security breaches a major concern, although only 12 per cent would consider it a main barrier to M2M adoption. Increased data sharing will push the issue of governance up the agenda – the more data you store and make accessible around your organisation, the greater the privacy and security risks you have to plan for. 

    We do not believe this will hold up M2M adoption in a meaningful way; however, it will accelerate the maturity of integrated M2M security solutions. All new technologies follow a maturation path. In the M2M market, there is already a huge amount of work going on and security will continue to evolve leading to more standardised and productised hosted services. Security will be built in, become stronger, easier to manage and more cost-effective.

  3. 4G will improve ROI and drive new solutions
    We predict that 4G will make new kinds of applications practical and cost effective, including video-based security, in-vehicle information services, assisted living and mHealth solutions, and much more. This, in turn, will accelerate return on investment for the enterprise while improving customer choice and service.

  4. Manufacturers and automotive companies will exceed expectations
    Consumer electronics will continue to take a commanding lead in M2M adoption. However, we believe that two other sectors will outpace current expectations.

    Next year, we will see acceleration of M2M in the automotive market. As drivers become familiar with M2M services, demand will rise. It doesn’t take long for what was once a luxury add-on to become a commoditised necessity – air conditioning was once a luxury addition restricted to top-spec vehicles, yet today air conditioning in vehicles is as ubiquitous as running water in the home.

    As understanding of M2M grows, we’ll also see more manufacturers recognise the benefits of M2M and adoption figures in manufacturing will surpass today’s market expectations.

The future is exciting for M2M

The cost of deploying M2M is coming down, everyone is more focused on providing the end-to-end global solutions required, and case studies of companies experiencing real benefits from M2M are becoming commonplace. And while security and privacy will pose initial challenges, these will be resolved as the technology matures – accelerating the uptake of M2M across a variety of market sectors.

With 84 per cent of enterprises (1000+ employees) confirming M2M-enabled products and services are relevant to their organisation today, and 89 per cent say M2M-enabled products and services will be relevant to their organisation in three years’ time, it is clear that M2M will play a critical role in the enterprise of tomorrow.