SINGAPORE, Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire

Asia's businesses are leading the world in Internet of Things (IoT) adoption, with the number of companies embracing connected devices soaring 200% from 2013 to stand at 36% in 2017, according to a new report by Vodafone.

The Report, the "Vodafone IoT Barometer 2017/18", is the leading global survey of business sentiment relating to investment and innovation in the IoT.  One of its key findings shows Asia is leading the way in connected device adoption and more importantly, globally IoT has hit critical mass and is now being deployed at scale. The report found:

  • 77% of Asia's businesses see IoT as mission-critical to their business
  • 88% of Asian respondents have increased the use of IoT solutions in the past 12 months
  • Over half (53%) of Asia's enterprises say IoT has increased their market competitiveness
  • 42% of Asia businesses have more than 1000 connected devices and 53% are seeing significant returns on investment

When it came to optimism and the future, Asia businesses message to the world was even clearer:

  • 91% believe IoT will have an enormous or sizeable impact on the wider economy in the next 5 years
  • 79% believe IoT usage will rise as security and privacy concerns greatly reduce
  • 91% believe cross industry collaboration will generate joint IoT solutions
  • 89% believe AI and machine learning will be commonplace by 2022

Vodafone, Director of IoT for APAC, Justin Nelson said, "This is a defining moment for IoT. Asia's businesses now see IoT as a core component of their current and future business, and their confidence in it delivering a competitive advantage is soaring. "

The Barometer examines four key factors for modern businesses: State of the Market; Business Benefits; Moving Forward; and Future Optimism.

The report noted that on top of the overwhelming adoption numbers, the most significant factor was that IoT was increasingly being deployed at scale, and the increased ROI as a result. The report also cited the widening range of benefits that businesses receive, greater business insights, reduced costs and improved employee productivity topping the list.

As far as business benefits go, improved brand differentiation (42%) and improved market competitiveness (53%) rated the primary benefit, compared to 35% in the Americas and 33% in Europe while the ability to monetise IoT remains on average with the rest of the world at 53%,

When asked about the next steps, the surprise finding was the positive framing of IoT security, which rather than being a barrier to IoT deployment, was seen as "giving businesses the confidence to do more."   Asia was once again much more positive in this area with 86% of respondents hailing security as an enabler compared to 79% globally, and 83% of businesses stating they have adequate skills to manage IoT security, significantly way ahead of Europe on 70% and the Americas at 65%.

As the scale of IoT projects increases the report also notes a rise in connectivity requirements. Businesses are looking to use a mix of technologies from fixed line to low power wide area networks (LP-WAN) depending on the application.  Typically, large scale projects use four different connectivity options with mobile and Wi-Fi the two most popular.  There is increasing interest in the newer technologies such as Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), with 28% of all companies now considering it and other LP-WAN options, for new IoT projects.

The 2017 IoT Barometer research surveyed 1,278 respondents in 13 countries, US, Brazil, Ireland, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa, China, India, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Source: Vodafone

Illustration Photo: Huawei's IoT Platform for Smart Logistics (credit: Huawei)

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