How the internet of things is changing business


Some of the statistics around the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) are staggering. Speaking at CeBIT Australia 2018, Justin Nelson, Head of IoT APAC, Vodafone Global Enterprise, and Leticia Jennings, Country Manager IoT, Vodafone Australia, revealed the numbers from a specially commissioned Vodafone report, and showed how the real potential of Internet of Things lies in its benefit to people.

Ten years is an eternity when it comes to technology. In 2008, no one had really heard of the Internet of Things (devices and objects linked by connected data), but now almost every business has an IoT story. Not only that, but businesses are starting to understand how the IoT needs to be integrated across the whole company, rather than operating as a stand-alone division.

More fundamentally, the Internet of Things is becoming less about inanimate objects – or “things” – and more about making life easier and better for people. It’s the value IoT provides to the end customers where businesses are finding the most opportunity.

The rate of IoT adoption

In 2017, Global IoT market spend was US$800 billion. By 2021, it will be $1.4 trillion, with $455 billion of that being spent in the Asia-Pacific region. That money is being spent across the four main areas of the IoT data cycle: collecting, connecting, analysing and actioning.

In the same time frame, the number of connections is expected to rise from 8.4 billion to over 20 billion. Which raises the question: if your business isn’t currently making maximum use of IoT, why not?

There are some interesting insights from an independent report commissioned by Vodafone. Among companies who have already adopted the Internet of Things:

  • 84% say their IoT use has grown within 12 months of adoption
  • 59% of the adopters are in the healthcare space, and they are using IoT to increase revenue
  • 82% of companies say they will be collaborating across different industries to build joint IoT solutions
  • 49% say they are combining IoT with data analytics platforms to support decision making, and having more reliable data leads to faster decisions, faster communications and faster resolutions
  • 79% say that in five years, IoT will account for over half their business practices
  • 71% say IoT will be part of everyday business practices by 2022
  • 74% believe digital transformation is impossible without IoT
  • 79% think enterprises will be using AI and machine learning by 2022

As with all the exciting developments taking place in the AI space, the Internet of Things is increasingly adding value to people across a range of industries. Vodafone’s IoT developments have helped people recover stolen vehicles, helped farmers by reducing calf mortality and even helped people walk again thanks to IoT-enabled exoskeletons.

IoT and Australian businesses

In 2016, 35% of Australian CIOs thought IoT would be important to their business. A year later, 90% of them said it wouldn’t just be important, it would be “critical” within five years. More significantly, those who are actively taking advantage of the Internet of Things are seeing cost savings (59% of companies) and increased customer satisfaction (30% of companies), while 66% can see opportunities for customer service and marketing applications.

A few years ago, most people thought the Internet of Things could only provide benefit in the utilities industry. That’s anything but the case.

While the IoT brings many opportunities, it also creates challenges - particularly where security is concerned. Our guide to cyber security and the internet of things can help you prepare to meet those challenges. Download it today. 

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