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Zebra Survey Shows Security, Management Planning Driving IoT Growth

The company's 2019 "Intelligent Enterprise Index" finds greater planning is taking place among Internet of Things adopters in retail, manufacturing, health care and logistics to ensure that systems are secure and that data can be potentially shared with partners.
By Claire Swedberg

If goods have not arrived on time, a manufacturer could, for instance, take a 3 percent discount off the supplier's bill. In fact, Ehlers says, 95 percent of enterprises have budgeted the cost of implementing a blockchain in their future operations, but are still identifying needs and immediate solutions.

In health care, IoT technology is enabling nurses and doctors to have mobility by helping them gain access data on tablets and smartphones rather than from desktops and carts. In that way, medical personnel can spend more time at patients' bedside, Ehlers explains, while having access to information about those patients, as well as their treatment history and the location of any equipment required for their treatment.

Additionally, health-care providers are using IoT data with RFID or BLE to reduce patient wait times. "There's a lot of room to grow there," Ehlers notes. "Higher utilization of room optimization leads to higher patient satisfaction" he says, while also improving potential scheduling. One way to accomplish that goal is to deploy RFID or BLE technology to understand the movements of patients who wear or carry trackers. Their locations can be viewed on a dashboard, and treatment can thus be provided accordingly.

Based on the survey results, Ehlers says, "Innovation folks are starting to identify the problems they want to solve first, and [are] clearly defining the outcome they want." That, he adds, means reversing a traditional mindset that had been a matter of deploying the technology first, then developing use cases around it.

The next horizon is developing plans to share data with partners, Ehlers predicts. "If you look at data-management planning" between 2018 and 2019, he says, the direction indicates users are planning how they can disseminate data further into the supply chain in order to solve other problems.

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