The State of Enterprise IoT
The Internet of Things has attracted considerable hype and excitement in enterprise, but as a tangible part of operations it has largely remained on the horizon. Using data from a 2017 survey by GlobalData, we look at how the IoT is really being used by businesses, and how its adoption may progress in the future
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What is enterprise IoT currently being used for?
So far, some fields have seen far greater adoption of Internet of Things-connected devices than others, largely as a result of the immediate benefits the technology can bring to their operations. Leading the way is equipment process and management, with building management and fleet management and telematics close beheld. All three applications involve the monitoring and maintenance of large numbers of individual elements, an area to which IoT technology can be easy and effectively applied.
Current Use Cases of IoT Technology
While IoT devices are increasingly being used in enterprise, they are often not deployed at the scale and complexity predicted by many trends analysts. Almost half of those who use IoT devices deploy them in relatively small networks of up to 500 devices, with only a tiny fraction using vast networks with tens of thousands of connection points.
Number of Devices Connected
The scope of IoT networks also remains more geographically limited than long-term predictions suggest they will eventually become. At present most networks are deployed either at a national or local scale, with very few implemented at a global scale.
Geographical Scope of Deployment
The reality of using enterprise IoT today
It would be easy to assume that most IoT projects are currently being run by IT departments, but that simply isn’t the case. While more are run by operations departments than any other team, there is a significant split across different company sectors.
IoT Internal Management
Regardless of who is running an IoT project, there are certain benefits to it that have driven the technologies adoption for many companies. Improving operational efficiencies is the most popular reasons for using IoT devices, with cost reduction coming a close second.
Primary Benefit to Be Achieved from IoT
However, IoT projects are not without their challenges. While it is clear that there are many difficulties that companies feel need to be overcome in the implementation of IoT technologies, security remains the leading issue, with proving the value coming a close second. Security is perhaps no surprise, given the amount of concern surrounding poor security of IoT devices and their widespread use in the creation of botnets.
Primary Challenge in Delivering IoT Projects
Future growth of enterprise IoT
Inevitably the use of IoT technology is set to grow in the future as the technology matures and new possibilities become available to enterprise. In particular, the majority of those surveyed said they planned to grow their IoT device network by a quarter in the next two years, suggesting modest but solid growth in the field and increased confidence in its potential.
Change in the Number of IOT Devices Being Managed in Next Two Years
Investment in IoT is, of course, not just about the devices. Many companies are looking to invest in other aspects of the infrastructure, with servers and storage considered the two most important areas for future investment.
Primary Priority for Future IoT Infrastructure Investment
However, when companies do commit funds to IoT, they for the most part expect fairly rapid return on investment. Just over half require a maximum of a year before IoT infrastructure is yielding a positive return, while almost 10% need a positive return from the outset.
Time Until Positive Return on Investment
Based on a survey of 924 respondents from a survey conducted in August 2017 by GlobalData