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New Study Examines Mass Adoption of IoT Technology

The report, based on interviews with 3,100 IT and business decision makers, explores the reasons why (and, in some cases, why not) the Internet of Things is being adopted by a range of businesses and organizations.
By Nathaniel Prince

Seventy-one percent of public sector adopters and 73 percent of health-care adopters stated that costs were down thanks to the IoT. Among the benefits reported were increases in business efficiency (cited by 82 percent), improved IT efficiency (81 percent), cost savings (73 percent), enhanced customer experience (78 percent), increased profitability (72 percent) and improved visibility of processes across the whole organization (77 percent).

Enterprises (with applications including air conditioning and lighting systems, as well as personal mobile devices) were found to have most readily adopted IoT technology, with 72 percent of them introducing IoT devices and sensors into their workplaces. The industrial sector came in second place, with 62 percent of respondents (with applications including chemical sensors, picking systems, and monitoring and maintaining operating infrastructures) adopting IoT technology. Health care was a close third at 60 percent, with patient monitors and X-ray or other imaging devices listed among the main devices connected to the network. The biggest IoT benefit for health care companies, according to the report, comes from using sensors to monitor and maintain medical devices.

Comparably speaking, retailers and governments lag behind at 49 percent and 42 percent, respectively. Thirty percent of retailers are using the IoT to create store location services that deliver personalized offers and product information to shoppers, while 18 percent are using the IoT to remotely control environmental factors, such as heating and lighting. For governments, the sluggishness to adopt IoT technology could stem from a lack of understanding, given the fact that the number of government IT decision makers who claim their executives have little to no knowledge of the Internet of Things is 35 percent—double the global average.

Nonetheless, among government respondents, 70 percent of those who did adopt IoT technologies reported improved organizational visibility and cost savings. The most popular application among these respondents is remote monitoring and control of devices within city boundaries, with 27 percent listing this as their number-one application.

Of the organizations that have adopted IoT technologies, 98 percent feel that they can analyze data, but virtually the same amount (97 percent) also believe that there are challenges to creating value from such data. Additionally, 39 percent of businesses are not extracting and analyzing data from within corporate networks, meaning that they miss out on potential insights that could improve business decisions. "The future promises far more amazing things," Ashton wrote regarding IoT technology. "The most important decision you can make now is how to be a part of it."

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