As the pandemic smoke clears, businesses are reassessing the value of IoT
- In many sectors, including our own, IoT was instrumental in keeping the lights on through lockdown
- Vodafone reports that many businesses are therefore pushing forward with plans to invest further in ‘continuity technologies’
- And many others have used the technology to radically change how they think and operate
It’s not that IoT itself is a silly concept, although it has played host to a lot of very silly product ideas. But it has suffered from being overly hyped as a ‘thing’. It’s not really a thing at all, it’s better understood as a concept for mass market telematics and the collection and analysis of big sets of data.
Vodafone has historically been a leading mobile IoT cheerleader, and has just conducted a study on business IoT. It says the research suggests that the big mistake that most businesses adopting it have made is to use it to drive efficiency gains rather than setting it loose to rework their business operations. As a result IoT as a growing market has just sort of chugged along rather than explode onto the scene as initial forecasts seemed to suggest it would.
Until, that is, Covid-19
Vodafone claims that the shock of the pandemic has stimulated a mass damascene conversion as far as business attitudes to the value of IoT are concerned. Now, it claims, many organisations have used the technology to radically change how they think and operate, such has been it's now proven business-saving qualities.
As part of its research, Vodafone questioned over 100 businesses in the UK and 1,639 businesses globally. Key findings include:
- 67% of IoT adopters were forced to increase the pace of IoT projects during this time
- 74% agree their core business strategy has changed for the better as a result of adopting IoT
- 62% say that organisations who have failed to embrace IoT will have fallen behind within five years
- 69% said the technology was key to maintaining business continuity during periods of disruption
The pandemic and coping with the lockdown appears to have acted as an extended wake-up call with 87% of respondents now convinced that IoT is critical for the future success of their business.
Vodafone says that IoT Adopters clearly believed the technology was vital to keep them going and 78% said the technology was key to maintaining business continuity during the pandemic. As a result, the majority of adopters (69%) now view the integration of IoT devices with workers as a higher priority and 67% of businesses considering IoT agree that the pandemic will accelerate their adoption plans.
The research findings are clear: IoT continues to generate value and ROI for adopters and 74% agree their core business strategy has changed for the better as a result of adopting IoT. Almost all (87%) say they have achieved a return on investment and 51% of adopters have seen operating costs decrease by an average of 19%. From improving operational efficiency to creating new connected products and services, key benefits of IoT deployments include boosted employee productivity (44%) and improved customer experience (38%).
Another big one is IoT’s ability to support businesses’ decision-making (38%) and the majority of adopters (76%) think it’s enabled them to do things they couldn’t do before.IoT data is also helping 76% of businesses meet their sustainability goals.
According to Erik Brenneis, Internet of Things Director at Vodafone Business, “IoT has grown up. It’s no longer just about increasing return on investment or providing cost savings to businesses: it’s changing the way they think and operate. And it’s giving them an opportunity to re-design their operations and future-proof their business model. This research proves IoT is an essential technology for businesses that want to be resilient, more flexible and quicker to adapt and react to change.”
Read Vodafone’s 2020 IoT Spotlight report which investigates the relationship between IoT, business strategy, resiliency, and success.
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