The Internet of Things is proving a seismic shift in the enterprise, with a multitude of ways of seeing return on investment
This is the story of new technology. Over the years, it has played out time and again. Floodgates of excitement bursting with the possibilities of a new transformative technology, giving way to dark apprehensions during a cycle of testing, early adoption and enhancement – and finally resting with widespread belief in its power to bring big positive change.
It is no different with the Internet of Things (IoT). The past few years have been packed with the hype of smart machines communicating with each other, reports of smart consumer gizmos, and more recently of smart workplaces, that promise unprecedented impact.
Understandably, this new wave of change is also creating ripples of apprehension as creases such as interoperability or security are ironed out. And yet, the early birds are in and have already begun to rake in the benefits.
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The recent IoT Solutions World Congress in Barcelona left no doubt that we are in the midst of a new revolution. Participants presented ingenuous cases of IoT implementation at their workplaces, while others dug deeper on the ROI of this disruptive technology, discovering how smart factories with machine-to-machine communication and collaboration could progressively reduce costs, increase productivity and boost profitability. ‘Social machines’, meanwhile, could dramatically improve resource utilisation and, in some cases, result in 20% to 30% reduction in stock levels required to keep supplies rolling.
The fact is that, as the IoT ecosystem matures, more and more organizations – from start-ups to large enterprises – are embracing it. A recent IDC survey reported that 73% of respondents had already deployed IoT solutions or plan to do so within the next year. Its transformative potential is quickly gaining recognition.
In the healthcare industry, as many as 72% of respondents called IoT transformative, followed by transportation and manufacturing at 67% and 66%.
In Europe’s consolidated IoT initiative, Industry 4.