TechBeat: The useful Internet of Things?
17 November 2016 | 0
“Enterprises do seem to recognise the significant potential of the Internet of Things,” said Mortell, “with operational efficiency, reduction in maintenance and operations costs and becoming more competitive being listed as the key benefits by survey respondents. But it’s interesting to see that only 4% currently view it as ‘essential’ to their business and on the opposite end of the spectrum 32% say it’s ‘not very useful’ or ‘of no value’ to them today.”
“With this in mind, it appears the majority of Irish businesses view the Internet of Things as something that is still quite futuristic. They know it will eventually pose significant value to their business — with 52% saying it will be ‘useful’, ‘very important’ or ‘essential’ to their business by 2021 — but to them, that value isn’t there right now.”
Delving further into the value derived from IoT, the survey asked respondents to estimate the time benefit per employee in productivity. Again, the results were somewhat polarised, but give a fairly clear indication that some organisations are fully leveraging IoT, while some, though using, are still ambivalent.
More than a fifth (21%) said that up to 30 minutes a week per employee was gained in productivity, but just 6% said between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Some 6% said between 3 and 5 hours were gained, but at the other end of the spectrum more than one in 10 (12%) said that more than a day per average employee per week was gained in productivity. However, more than half of respondents (56%) were unable to estimate the productivity gains.
When it came to usage, nearly 1 in 10 (9%) said they would increase their usage by 100% or more in 2017, but at the other end, nearly a third (30%) said they would not increase usage at all, and a significant 28% did not know. More than a fifth (21%) said they would increase usage by up to 24%, with a further 9% saying the increase would be up to 49%. Some 3% said the increase would be 50-100%.
Despite a clear, collective 42% expecting an increase, a slightly larger proportion (46%) have no clear implementation strategy for IoT, with 14% saying they did not know. Just 11% said they did have a clear strategy, with 9% saying there was not currently a strategy but there would be within a year, and a further 20% saying the strategy would be in place within the next five years.
“The time to deploy IoT technologies isn’t in five years’ time or even next year; it’s today,” said Mortell. “Businesses are embracing digital transformation at an incredible pace and it is the companies that don’t who that will be left behind. Worryingly, 46% of Irish businesses don’t currently have a specific IoT strategy and don’t plan to implement one in the next five years. Still, there are indicators that businesses know the wave of IoT devices and data are coming, which is why 20% of businesses surveyed said that while don’t have an IoT strategy, they do plan to implement one within the next five years.
Respondents were asked about the perceived benefits of IoT technologies, selecting their top three. The clear choice was an increase in operational efficiency, as selected by more than half (55%). This was followed by a reduction in maintenance and/or operational costs (36%), and increased competitive advantage (31%). Level on 27% each were avoidance of equipment failure and the creation of new, innovative solutions. Creating a more fluid and productive working environment was at 23%, while better customer engagement was at just 21%.
“At a time when the user experience is everything,” said Mortell, “businesses must arm themselves with as much information as possible, through the collection and analysis of IoT data, to get to know their customer base and consistently meet and exceed their expectations. Companies need to couple that with the technology efficiency and reliability to ensure they have the best-performing product on the market — and that is where interconnection comes in.”