The Vodafone IoT Barometer is an in-depth and respected global study of how organisations are using the Internet of Things (IoT). I’m very excited about the results of this year’s edition. It confirms what I’ve seen over the last 12 months: IoT adoption is surging ahead. It’s jumped from 29% to 34% since our last report. Over a third of organisations are now using IoT, and they’re feeling more confident about it too. They’re branching out and doing more with it. Over three quarters (76%) of adopters say their IoT projects are mission-critical for their business — and some are finding it hard to imagine business without it. One in 12 adopters now say that their “entire business depends on IoT”.
Why is IoT adoption accelerating?
The obvious answer is that IoT delivers. 95% of adopters are reporting tangible benefits from their use of IoT. And the benefits are becoming well-known. As more businesses see their peers reaping the returns, they’re investigating how IoT could impact their own company — whether by reducing operating costs and improving employee productivity, or enabling new revenue streams.
I think we’re also seeing adoption accelerate because IoT is becoming more accessible. It’s no longer a technology in its infancy. You don’t have to build your own solutions from scratch. Thanks to new off-the-shelf solutions, practically any organisation can now launch advanced IoT solutions. And when they’re up and running, IoT enablement platforms are making it easier than ever to manage your devices.
New connectivity solutions are having an impact on adoption too. A quarter of adopters are already using low-power wide area network (LPWAN) technologies like LTE-M (Cat-M1) and Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT). And 5G is on the horizon — over half (52%) of adopters are already considering it. It’s set to have a huge impact on IoT, offering enhanced network coverage, improved manageability and near-zero latency. That’s going to make even more applications of IoT possible.
How can I make a success of IoT?
This year, we wanted to make the IoT Barometer more valuable than ever. That’s why we’ve created a unique tool — the IoT Sophistication Index. From our experience, we’ve seen that both strategy and implementation are key to success with IoT. We’ve used the Index to test that hypothesis — and it’s correct; sophistication is strongly linked to results.
In March, we’ll be launching an interactive benchmarking tool based on our IoT Sophistication Index. It will enable you to gauge your company’s level of IoT sophistication and compare your results against your peers. And it will provide recommendations on how you can get more from IoT. Stay posted for more on that.