The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow: a global study published by Hewlett Packard Enterprise company Aruba, reveals that 85% of businesses plan to implement IoT by 2019. The research questioned 3,100 IT and business decision-makers across 20 countries to evaluate the current state of IoT and its impact on different industries. The study shows that while virtually all business leaders (98%) have an understanding of IoT, many are unclear of its exact definition and what it means for their business.
The analysis confirms the clear business benefits of investment in IoT, but cautions that connecting thousands of things to existing business networks has already resulted in security breaches for the majority of organisations; 84% of respondents reported an IoT-related security breach.
The research reveals varying level IoT maturity across different industry sectors. The following five vertical industries are leaders in IoT adoption and have realised tangible business benefits from a focused, use case approach.
Enterprises: Over seven in ten enterprises have introduced IoT devices into the workplace. Indoor location based services rank as the second most promising use case to improve employee productivity, after remote monitoring.
One in five report remote operation of building lighting and temperature as a key use case, but that number more than doubles to 53% when asked about future IoT implementations.
Looking at the tangible results being realised today, 78% say the introduction of IoT in the workplace has improved the effectiveness of their IT teams, and three quarters find it has increased profitability.
The industrial sector: 62% of respondents in the industrial sector have already implemented IoT. Using IoT to monitor and maintain essential industrial functions was identified as the most impactful use case in the sector.
The use of IP-based surveillance cameras for physical security within industrial organisations is still in its infancy, with only 6% having implemented it. However, when asked about future implementations, surveillance jumped five-fold to 32%.
Across the sector, the majority (83%) report increased business efficiency and another 80% have gained improved visibility across the organisation.
Healthcare: Coming in as the third most advanced in its implementation of IoT, 60% of healthcare organisations globally have introduced IoT devices into their facilities.
Across the sector, 42% of executives rank monitoring and maintenance as the number one use of IoT – higher than all other sectors. This underscores the importance of IoT-enabled patient monitoring in the modern healthcare industry.
Eight in ten report an increase in innovation and another 73% report cost savings.
Retailers: Just under half of retailers are using IoT technology, but 81% of these report improved customer experiences. An improved customer experience is likely to have a significant impact on customer loyalty and, ultimately, revenue.
In-store location services delivering personalised offers and product information to shoppers was touted as the number one implementation for IoT, alongside monitoring and maintenance. Four in ten retailers ranked surveillance in their top three key use cases.
Government: The public sector has been slowest to adopt IoT. Only 42% of municipalities have deployed IoT devices and sensors. A third of IT decision-makers claim their executives have little to no understanding of IoT, double the global average, suggesting that lack of education is the biggest barrier to mass adoption in this sector.
While nearly half of government IT departments are struggling with legacy technology, seven in ten IoT adopters in the public sector report cost savings and improved organisational visibility as the major benefits.
Data context and security challenge
The study also uncovers a number of obstacles that IT leaders feel are preventing IoT from delivering greater business impact. In particular, the cost of implementation, maintenance and integration of legacy technology are highlighted as key issues.
Most notably, security flaws were found across many IoT deployments. More than half of respondents declared that external attacks are a key barrier to embracing and adopting an IoT strategy. This confirms that a holistic IoT security strategy, built on strong network access control and policy management, will not only protect enterprises but also simplify the security approach for IT.
Chris Kozup, Vice President of Marketing at Aruba, said: “With the business benefits of IoT surpassing expectations, it’s no surprise that the business world will move towards mass adoption by 2019. But with many executives unsure how to apply IoT to their business, those who succeed in implementing IoT are well positioned to gain a competitive advantage.”