Vodafone Business today launches its 2020 IoT Spotlight report, focused on the impact IoT is having on businesses at a time when their digital capabilities are put to the test by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IoT Spotlight features responses from over 100 businesses in the UK (1,639 businesses globally), exploring how they are using IoT and how IoT is helping them be ready for the future.
During the COVID-19 crisis, IoT has made the difference
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced almost all businesses to change their working practices and priorities in a matter of weeks, with the findings showing 67% of adopters increased the pace of IoT projects during this time.
Adopters clearly believe IoT was vital to keep them going: 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 the pandemic will accelerate their adoption plans.
IoT is key to improving business performance
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%).
Data is the key to future readiness
You can’t manage what you can’t measure. IoT data is becoming essential to support businesses’ decision-making (38%) and the majority of adopters (76%) think they can do things they couldn’t do before thanks to IoT. And IoT data is also helping 76% of businesses meet their sustainability goals.
IoT enables new ways of working, and the benefits clearly outweigh the risks
Businesses see IoT as an essential element of being future ready. So much so that 62% say that organisations who have failed to embrace IoT will have fallen behind within five years.
While cybersecurity was one of the main barriers to business’ willingness to adopt IoT in previous years, the IoT Spotlight 2020 sees the concerns significantly reducing, with only 19% of businesses seeing it as one of the top-three barriers to IoT adoption.
This, coupled with the improvements in brand differentiation and competitiveness (43% globally) showed by mature adopters of IoT, proves businesses that embrace this technology believe the opportunities IoT offers businesses greatly outweigh the challenges of implementation.
Erik Brenneis, Internet of Things Director at Vodafone Business said: “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.”