How many times have you heard that the pandemic was the catalyst for countless technologies that were once just promised for 7 or 8 years from now? With the internet of things – IoT it was no different. IoT use cases in response to COVID-19 impositions have swarmed: from apps that tell you when you hold your hand to your face to contactless temperature sensors. After all, if we can’t make contact so as not to spread the virus, devices are free and keep us connected.
The realization that the internet of things is changing how companies think and operate, wide open during the pandemic, has caused many organizations to rethink their approach to and use IoT. And, of course, not to decrease investment in this technology; on the contrary, increase it to take advantage of it to its full potential to provide stability and adaptability to its operations.
For this, we will see how organizations perceive the IoT, how investments in the internet of things are doing, what those still hesitant about this technology think, and, finally, how to plan for an adhesion.
The World Has Joined The IoT
Despite the excitement, some hesitation about the internet of things still hovered in the air; in 2020, the number of companies adopting IoT solutions jumped from 13% in 2014 to 25%, according to McKinsey.
A Microsoft study confirms this result: according to the authors, companies are maturing their use, which is approved by the 9% growth in projects in-use phase.
This consistent growth, according to the consultancy, is the result of several factors:
- Better and cheaper sensors: availability at scale and possibility of new applications.
- Processing capacity: A hundredfold increase in the last 15 years, enabling real-time analytics in the cloud or edge computing and 5G connectivity.
- The breadth of applications: IoT brings solutions to industry 4.0, retail, logistics, healthcare, countryside, cities, office, and homes.
IoT Investments In The World: Companies Consider It A Priority
Despite the challenges posed by the crisis caused by the coronavirus, investments in IoT will continue to be a priority.
According to the IoT Spotlight Report survey, while 73% of respondents said they would delay IoT projects due to restrictions, 81% say IoT device integration is a higher priority than before the pandemic.
IoT Signals also confirms this: 90% of leaders say IoT is critical to their success.
Where Organizations Are Investing: IoT Applications
- Workplace safety
- remote collaboration
- Increase the level of transparency
- Optimization of flows and layout
- Remote control and monitoring of operations
- Optimize equipment maintenance
- inventory management
- Material flow management
- Development of new products
What Do Those Who Have Not Yet Adopted IoT Solutions Think?
Despite the positive numbers, the survey by Vodafone Business mentioned above points out that 33% of companies that do not adopt an IoT solution still do not know how technology can benefit them.
Their focus is more on monitoring and evaluation and not so much on the ability to use technology to provide decision-makers with information that can support improvements in operations. IoT may seem like technology in the background, but its value lies in the operational insights, which help create a leaner, more integrated, and efficient business. Integrating it with analytics, AI, and cloud and edge computing is key to harnessing this potential.
KPMG, in a previously mentioned study, cites that another problem that organizations face is not adopting an IoT strategy to transform the business, both in terms of the relationship with suppliers and customers and internally.
This lack of clarity, coupled with the lack of maturity of a technology considered new, makes them hesitant about IoT. Their attitude is expectant; that is, they wait to see if the IoT will become an essential part of organizations’ operations and adopt it.
Investing In IoT: Your Proof Of Concept
Investing in IoT can be easier said than done, like most investments in technology and digital transformation.
This draws attention to a fundamental point: technology cannot be focused in isolation, that is, disconnected from the real business value it can generate – although this is more common than it seems.
For this, an IoT strategy will need to be driven by mature leaders capable of exploring this value beyond infrastructure to create efficiency, cut costs and reduce losses.
To do so, such leaders must expand the vision from one part to the whole, thinking about the ecosystem. Recognizing these possible connections from which IoT and other technologies will be connection points will be a tremendous initial challenge, and, undoubtedly, great possibilities will be ignored in the beginning.