The Internet of Things (IoT) is moving into the mainstream.
Vodafone’s latest IoT Barometer report shows that 84 percent of adopters report growing confidence in IoT, with 83 percent enlarging the scale of deployments to take advantage of full benefits.
More than a third (34 percent) of 1,758 businesses surveyed worldwide also now use IoT, and 70 percent of these adopters have moved beyond the pilot stage, with 95 percent seeing the benefits of investment in this technology as it moves into the mainstream.
Stefano Gastaut, CEO IoT, Vodafone Business, said that IoT is central to business success in an increasingly digitized world.
The report noted that since Vodafone’s last IoT Barometer report, the number of companies using IoT has risen to over a third (34 percent) and the scale and importance of IoT projects have grown.
Confidence is growing, too. Forty-five percent of adopters say their IoT projects cross international borders while 76 percent say their IoT projects are mission-critical. Meanwhile, eight percent of adopters are entirely reliant on IoT, according to the report.
Vodafone attributes this surge to many factors, but primarily to the lowering of barriers to entry, mainly the growing availability of IoT enablement platforms and new, cost-effective connectivity options.
“The good news is that IoT platforms make the technology easier to deploy for businesses of all sizes and NB-IoT and 5G will improve services and potential,” Gastaut said in a news release.
The report confirms what other surveys have concluded: Asia-Pacific leads in adoption, with 43 percent of companies in the region already using IoT. However, the report found that the region has a significantly lower percentage of organizations in the top two bands of adopters.
Vodafone’s Business IoT Sophistication Model classifies four types of adopters: Band A (most sophisticated), Band B (very sophisticated), Band C (intermediate), and Band D (Beginners). According to the report, Asia-Pacific has a significantly lower percentage of organizations in the top two bands.
Band A are companies that typically have multiple full-scale projects that are deeply embedded in the business and mostly mission-critical. Meanwhile, Band B are companies that are likely using IoT in conjunction with analytics to support decision-making.
“This implies that despite their enthusiasm, companies in this region have further to go in developing their programs and achieving all the possible benefits,” the report noted.
Globally, Vodafone said 53 percent of IoT adopters fall into the top two bands.
Looking to the future, Vodafone says new technology will continue to power the performance of IoT. Over half (52%) of adopters plan to use 5G, which promises to support higher volumes of data, increase reliability and offer near-zero latency. Combined with mobile edge computing, which will process application traffic closer to the network edge, users can expect better performance, less risk, and faster data speeds.
Commenting on the results, Michele Mackenzie, Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason, said the Barometer makes it clear that businesses are increasing their investment into IoT as they gain confidence and begin to develop more advanced solutions.
“In the short term, users of IoT will continue to access reduced costs and improved efficiency, but increasingly ambitious projects will offer the opportunity to change business models. For example in cities heavy users of roads could pay more, encouraging the use of different modes of transport with knock-on benefits to public health and the environment,” she said.