Thursday, 17 October 2019 11:00

Retail, healthcare lead the way in IoT adoption: survey Featured

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The retail and healthcare sectors are the two business and industry sectors leading Internet of Things (IoT) adoption around the world, according to a new survey on ‘intelligent’ enterprises.

The third annual “Intelligent Enterprise Index from global IT services provider Zebra Technologies shows that retail organisations – under overwhelming pressure to improve the customer experience - have gained the most momentum in the last 12 months, graduating from the bottom of the 2018 vertical Index rankings to nearly the top of the 2019 list - second only to healthcare.

And the Index reveals that a record 61% of enterprises worldwide are on the path to becoming “intelligent,” compared to only 49% in 2018.
Index scores are calculated using 11 criteria that include Internet of Things (IoT) vision, adoption, data management, intelligent analysis and more.

“When we launched the Intelligent Enterprise Index three years ago, many enterprises were trying to understand where and how IoT solutions could be best applied within their unique business environments,” said Drew Ehlers, Global Futurist, Zebra Technologies.

“We now see more urgency to improve operational visibility and facilitate the delivery of actionable intelligence all the way to the edge of the enterprise.

“I believe that is why enterprises are now demonstrating a much greater commitment to executing their IoT plans and why we’ll likely see a surge in investments over the next few years.”

“Interestingly, 37 percent of surveyed small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with 50-249 employees scored 75 points or greater on the Index, indicating SMBs with an IoT vision are in many cases more “intelligent” than large enterprises,” Zebra notes.

Tom Christodoulou, Regional Director of Australia and New Zealand, Zebra Technologies said that with the continued adoption of mobility and IoT, “the edge of enterprise operations is becoming increasingly connected’.

“This unprecedented, growing level of connectivity is generating vast amounts of actionable data about processes and assets that can be leveraged to transform workflows to improve business performance and outcomes,” Christodoulou says.

“As a breakthrough data intelligence platform that combines IoT end-point connectivity, configuration management, data transport, data storage, analytics and machine learning into one platform, Zebra’s Savanna turns raw data into actionable insights for businesses to deliver new levels of service, productivity and profitability.”

According to Zebra, the number of companies defined as truly “intelligent enterprises” by achieving a score of 75 points or greater on the index has also risen year over year.

Seventeen (17) percent of organisations with at least 250 employees crossed this threshold in 2019 versus only 11 percent in 2018.

Key index findings are:

  • The pace of IoT adoption is picking up, leading to increasingly greater intelligence levels. The cumulative Intelligent Enterprise Index score continues to grow as more companies move from exploratory to deployment phases of their journeys, with the 2019 score topping out at 61.5 points. This represents a nearly 6-point increase from 2018, driven largely by the increased “intelligence” gains of retail and transportation & logistics (T&L) organisations. It is also a +9-point gain from 2017, the first year the Index was conducted. Further, 74 percent of APAC organisations have an IOT vision with plans to execute it, of which 55 percent have already implemented while up to 43 percent are planning to implement it within the next 1-3 years.
  • Continued growth in IoT solutions and other data-driven technology platform investments. In 2019, the average global enterprise spend was $6.4 million, representing a 39 percent year-over-year increase. Eighty-six (86) percent of enterprises expect this number to grow in the next 1-2 years, with over half of respondents expecting to increase their investments by 21-50+ percent. Up to 92 percent of APAC organisations expect their investments in IOT and mobility to increase over the next 1-2 years.
  • Intelligence-driven solution deployments have broadened quite significantly. Forty-six (46) percent of study respondents are currently implementing their IoT solutions on a company-wide level, an increase from 38 percent in 2018. Another 32 percent expect to soon move toward regional deployments.
  • With security a top priority, enterprises are committing more resources to continuous data system monitoring. Sixty-two (62) percent of enterprises are now constantly monitoring their IoT security to ensure system integrity and data privacy. That is a 4-percentage point gain year-over-year and a 13-percentage point increase from 2017. At that time, only 49 percent had a constant security monitoring protocol with 47 percent periodically monitoring their systems.

             - Up to 70 percent of APAC organisations are constantly monitoring their IOT security to ensure that their system integrity and privacy are not compromised.

  • Enterprises are shifting to a single partner “intelligent” solution ecosystem. Nearly half (49 percent) of study respondents indicate they now rely on a single strategic partner to manage their entire “intelligence” solution, including components and services provided by third parties.
  • Surveyed SMBs score higher on the Index than large companies (64.5 points vs 61.5 points). This higher score is based on findings such as SMB respondents indicating their enterprises are more likely to have an IoT vision and are executing on the plan (69 percent vs 62 percent).

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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