If you’re like me, you’ve been a believer in the potential of the internet of things since the beginning. It’s hard to deny the potential positive societal impacts a connected world can drive, but does it mean it’s a vital investment for companies? Like most emerging technologies, there are always questions on whether or not you can make a true business case for it. While some reports forecast that nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years, for this to truly occur IoT needs buy-in at the enterprise level. Spending on IoT projects will only continue to climb if it helps companies realize true ROI and it can ultimately drive positive business outcomes.
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Since IoT is seeing a strong adoption rate around the world, it’s clear to me that there are significant benefits and ROI opportunities that prove that IoT technology can have true business value. We’re seeing companies move from simply adopting internet of things technologies to actually putting it in position to drive their business. IoT is producing measurable results, and the top performers who are seeing the greatest results treat their IoT initiatives as business projects, not IT purchases.
Let’s take a look at some of the key proof points from Vodafone’s 2016 IoT Barometer that outlines how IoT is becoming a vital investment for companies:
- Recognizing IoT ROI: Yes — a lot of acronyms, but IoT cannot move forward if there aren’t true return on investment (ROI) opportunities for organizations. Luckily, 63% of IoT adopters are seeing “significant” ROI in IoT projects, up from 59% in 2015. Whether it’s connected supply chains for manufacturers or smart office capabilities for employees, businesses are seeing significant results from their IoT deployments, changing the way they do business. In fact, adopters are seeing a 20% improvement in key business indicators like revenue growth and cost reduction as a result of investing in their IoT programs.
- Driving future success: Successful businesses always have an eye toward the future. For businesses in the Americas — e.g., U.S., Canada and Brazil — IoT was reported to be a top business focus, as 74% of companies view IoT as critical for the future success of their organization. Additionally, 48% of companies globally are using IoT to support large scale business transformations such as helping to change a manufacturing business into a service company.
- Uncovering new opportunities: IoT is driving ROI for companies by facilitating new partnerships to serve customers in new ways. In fact, 61% of businesses say they “consistently” see IoT as an integral part of wider business initiatives. In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT data is informing business strategy in new ways, as 64% of businesses consistently use big data and analytics platforms to support decision-making.
These three key points illustrate how companies that are investing in IoT are seeing real results on their bottom line. For businesses, the internet of things is no longer just an IT project to help internal functionality. Today, investing in IoT is a business development strategy that drives growth, profitability and depth in to what companies can offer their clients. The proof is in the ROI — the internet of things is a vital investment for the modern company.
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