IoT heading for mass adoption by 2019: Aruba
International study reveals IoT adopters are seeing strong gains in innovation and business efficiency
IoT will soon be widespread as 85% of businesses plan to implement IoT by 2019, driven by a need for innovation and business efficiency.
This is revealed in a new global study ‘The Internet of Things: Today and Tomorrow’ published by Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.
While the analysis confirms the clear business benefits from investments in IoT, Aruba’s report cautions that connecting thousands of things to existing business networks has already resulted in security breaches for the majority of organisations.
The research questioned 3,100 IT and business decision makers across 20 countries to evaluate the current state of IoT and its impact across different industries. The study shows that while virtually all business leaders (98%) have an understanding of IoT, many are unclear of the exact definition of IoT and what it means for their business.
In his new eBook ‘Making Sense of IoT’, commissioned by Aruba, technology visionary Kevin Ashton—who coined the term 'Internet of Things’— presents the following definition:
“The ‘Internet of Things’ means sensors connected to the Internet and behaving in an Internet-like way by making open, ad hoc connections, sharing data freely and allowing unexpected applications, so computers can understand the world around them and become humanity’s nervous system.”
The Expectations Dividend
When examining the business benefits of IoT, Ashton discovered that the real-world benefits gained from IoT exceeded even the original expectations. This ‘expectations dividend’ is evident in two key performance areas: business efficiency and profitability.
As an example, only 16% of business leaders projected a large profit gain from their IoT investment, yet post-adoption, 32% of executives realized profit increases. Similarly, only 29% of executives expected their IoT strategies to result in business efficiency improvements, whereas actual results show that 46% experienced efficiency gains.
Mr. Ammar Enaya, regional director, Middle East and Turkey, Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, comments: “With the business benefits of IoT surpassing expectations, it’s no surprise that the business world will move towards mass adoption by 2019. But with many executives unsure of how to apply IoT to their business, those who succeed in implementing IoT are well positioned to gain a competitive advantage.”
Aruba's research reveals varying levels of IoT maturity across different industry sectors.
Over seven in ten (72%) enterprises have introduced IoT devices into the workplace. Indoor location-based services ranks as the second most promising use case to improve employee productivity, after remote monitoring. Twenty percent report remote operation of building lighting and temperature as a key use case, but that number more than doubles to 53% when asked about future IoT implementations.
Looking at the tangible results being realized today, 78% say the introduction of IoT in the workplace has improved the effectiveness of their IT team, and 75% find it has increased profitability.
Alongside these positive returns, the study also uncovers a number of obstacles that IT leaders feel are preventing IoT from delivering greater business impact. In particular, the cost of implementation (50%), maintenance (44%) and integration of legacy technology (43%) were highlighted as key issues.
Most notably, security flaws were found across many IoT deployments. The study found that 84% of organisations have experienced an IoT-related security breach. More than half of respondents declared that external attacks are a key barrier to embracing and adopting an IoT strategy. This confirms that a holistic IoT security strategy, built on strong network access control and policy management, will not only protect enterprises but also simplify the security approach for IT.
The ability to capture and effectively use data is described by Kevin Ashton as “what defines the Internet of Things”, but this appears to be another clear challenge for global organisations. While nearly all (98%) of organisations that have adopted IoT claim that they can analyse data, almost all respondents (97%) feel there are challenges to creating value from this data. Well over a third (39%) of businesses are not extracting or analysing data within corporate networks, and are thereby missing out on insights that could improve business decisions.
Mr. Enaya comments, “While IoT grows in deployment, scale and complexity, proper security methodologies to protect the network and devices, and more importantly, the data and insights they extract, must also keep pace. If businesses do not take immediate steps to gain visibility and profile the IoT activities within their offices, they run the risk of exposure to potentially malicious activities. Aruba is enabling customers to rapidly assess IoT deployments within their facilities and determine any potential threats that may be present.”
Ashton concludes: “Since its inception in 1999, the Internet of Things has been ridiculed, criticized, and misunderstood. And yet here we are, less than two decades later, in a world where tens of thousands of organizations are saving and making hundreds of millions of dollars from the Internet of Things, using cars that drive themselves, subway stations that sense passengers, algorithms that diagnose deadly diseases using phones, and many other once apparently-impossible technologies. The future promises far more amazing things. The most important decision you can make now is how to be a part of it.”