A report released by Verizon highlights the Internet of Things (Iot) as the core of digital transformation in 2017.

The report titled State of the Market: Internet of Things 2017, found that 73 per cent of executives either researching or currently deploying IoT.

Manufacturing, transportation and utilities make up the largest percent of investments, while insurance and consumers represent the fastest areas of spending growth. With 8.4 billion connected “things” in use in 2017, up 31 per cent from 2016, and network technology, cost reductions and regulatory pressures driving adoption, business leaders are not only paying attention, they’re getting in the game according to the report.

Early adopters get a head start

The economics of IoT are increasingly compelling and the B2B space will benefit first, generating nearly 70 per cent of potential value enabled by IoT. And while enterprises across industries continue to develop and pilot use cases to ensure real-time visibility into data around assets, equipment, power management and public safety – everything from construction industries employing drones for site inspections to government municipalities creating “smart” communities – hesitancies related to IoT still remain.  

As Verizon’s report highlights, four key concerns stand out for over 50 per cent of business executives when exploring IoT:

  • Standards
  • Security
  • Interoperability
  • Cost

These uncertainties, along with apprehension around scalability and simplicity, are holding businesses back from full IoT deployment, with many still in proof-of-concept or pilot phase.  Early adopters seem largely focused on proving out simple use cases to track data and send status alerts, just starting to realise the full value IoT has to offer in driving growth and efficiencies across business.

The barriers are eroding

The report highlights new network technology across the industry  changing consumer behaviours as they relate to the new sharing economy; and regulatory requirements spanning healthcare, food, and air space. These are just a few of the driving factors of IoT adoption and advancement this year, an ecosystem that will see more than $2 trillion in spending by 2017.

The report also sheds light on how businesses should be thinking about IoT moving forward and addresses many of the concerns expressed by executives surveyed. Specifically:

  • Simplicity and integration: IoT platforms will become even more seamless and streamline the deployment of applications, giving developers simplified access to new tools and resources for IoT use cases. In addition, we’ll see ongoing consolidation of the IoT market space
  • Cost: new technology and chipsets will reduce costs of connectivity and enable more widespread adoption by businesses large and small
  • Security: securely collecting, analysing and integrating data will continue to be at the forefront, with solutions which help protect at the platform, network and device level

Bringing IoT to life

Some of the case studies highlighted in the report include:

  • Drones enabling utility and construction firms to carry out maintenance and inspections without having to dispatch workers
  • IoT-connected lawn care to determine how much water, fertiliser or pesticide is necessary, enabling fewer visits by technicians depending on the specific needs of the lawn
  • Unmanned aerial vehicles revolutionising the insurance industry, with property and casualty companies utilising drones to perform inspections and other claims-related work
  • Smart communities.  Providing actionable traffic insights; making parking seamless; bringing communities together and bridging the digital divide in forward-thinking municipalities
  • Government and private industries joining the sharing economy
  • Electricity companies moving to smart-reader/smart grid cloud technologies to enable 4G LTE connected meter reading, outage and restoration notifications, providing actionable insights and data for future planning

“Over the past year, industry innovators in energy, healthcare, construction, government, agtech and beyond have not only piloted, but in many cases, deployed IoT technology to improve business efficiencies, track and manage assets to drive value to the bottom line. In 2017, advancements in technology and standards, coupled with changing consumer behaviours and cost reductions, have made IoT enterprise-grade, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg in driving economic value across the board,” said Mark Bartolomeo, VP of IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon.

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