IoT set to trigger enterprise digital transformation

18 April 2017

From the results of a global survey – the IoT 2020 Business Report – Schneider Electric has predicted that the Internet of Things (IoT) will trigger the next wave of enterprise digital transformation.

Based on the recent global IoT survey of 3,000 business leaders in 12 countries, in addition to Schneider Electric’s knowledge of IoT solutions and feedback from its customers and partners, the company is predicted that large organisations will bne using Internet of Things technologies as a serious business tool by 2020.

The following predictions serve as a guide for what we can expect as the market evolves:

The next wave of digital transformation: IoT will trigger the next wave of enterprise digital transformation, unifying the worlds of operational technology (OT) and IT and fueling a mobile and digitally enabled workforce: As more companies expand and deepen their digitisation programmes enterprise-wide, IoT will increasingly take centre stage. This new wave of transformation will be enabled by more affordable ‘connected’ sensors, embedded intelligence and control, faster and more ubiquitous communications networks, cloud infrastructure, and advanced data-analytics capabilities.

Insightful data: IoT will translate previously untapped data into insights that enable enterprises to take the customer experience to the next level:  When thinking about the value proposition of IoT, most businesses point to efficiency and cost savings as the key benefits. Yet access to data – including previously untapped data – and the ability to translate it into actionable insights, the hallmark of IoT, will deliver greater customer-service transformation and new opportunities to build brand/service loyalty and satisfaction.

Premise-to-cloud confidence: The IoT will promote an open, interoperable and hybrid computing approach, and will foster industry and government collaboration on global architecture standards that address cybersecurity concerns: While cloud-based IoT solutions will grow in popularity, no single computing architecture will monopolise their delivery. IoT instead will flourish across systems, both at the edge and on premise, as part of private cloud or public cloud offerings. Making IoT available across heterogeneous computing environments will help end users adopt IoT solutions in the way that best suits their security and mission-critical needs while also offering entities with legacy technology infrastructures a logical and manageable path forward, allowing them to transform over time.

Innovations that leapfrog existing infrastructure: IoT will function as a source of innovation, business model disruption and economic growth for businesses, governments and emerging economies: Businesses will deliver new IoT-enabled services; new business models will emerge; and, in particular emerging economies will have a significant opportunity to quickly leverage IoT without the constraint of legacy infrastructure, essentially leapfrogging old ways. McKinsey forecasts that 40% of the worldwide market for IoT solutions will be generated by developing countries.

A better planet: IoT solutions will be leveraged to address major societal and environmental issues: IoT will help countries and their economies respond to the biggest challenges facing our planet, including global warming, water scarcity and pollution. Survey respondents identified improved resource utilisation as the number one benefit of IoT to society as a whole. Along with the initiatives to curtail greenhouse gas emissions in accord with the breakthrough COP21 climate agreement.
The key global survey findings that informed the predictions revealed that 75% of businesses are optimistic about the opportunities the IoT presents this year, including:
Improved customer experience: Sixty-three percent of organisations plan to use the IoT to analyse customer behaviour in 2016, with faster problem resolution, better customer service and customer satisfaction ranking among the top five potential business benefits.

Cost savings in automation: Building and industrial automation represent the highest potential annual cost savings (63% and 62%, respectively). Results showed automation technologies will be the future of the IoT, with nearly half (42%) of respondents indicating that they plan to implement IoT-enabled building automation systems within the next two years.

Mobile delivers the value of IoT: Two out of three organisations (67%) plan to implement the Internet of Things via mobile applications in 2016. Even further, one-third of respondents (32%) plan to start using the IoT in mobile applications in as little as six months, citing potential cost savings of up to 59% as a major driver in implementation.

81% of respondents feel that knowledge gathered from the data and/or information generated by the IoT is being shared effectively throughout the organisation.

41% of respondents anticipate cybersecurity threats related to the IoT as being a critical challenge for their business.
“We’re past the point of questioning whether IoT will deliver value. Businesses now need to make informed decisions to position themselves to maximise IoT’s value in their organisation,” said Dr. Prith Banerjee, chief technology officer, Schneider Electric. “The Internet of Things has been at the top of the hype curve for some time, but the findings of this survey demonstrate that IoT technologies can and will continue to drive real business value across industries and geographies.”

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