By Chuck Martin
They may not be aware of all the coming implications, but top execs around the world have at least heard of IoT.
About a quarter (27%) of companies already have M2M projects underway, an increase from 22% last year, based on a new study.
And once companies start M2M (machine-to-machine) projects, they increase them over time.
For example, 81% of the companies using M2M a year ago have increased their use since last year, according to the annual Vodafone M2M Barometer study.
The study was conducted by Circle Research and analyst firm Analysis Mason and comprised a series of detailed interviews with more than 650 senior executives in 16 countries and seven industries.
Though the rather terrible acronyms of M2M and IoT tend to be used interchangeably, they are slightly different.
M2M typically refers to two or more machines or devices connected to each other.
IoT is more associated with the consumer market and consumer devices, incorporating human interaction with the data that comes from the devices, often in relation to location. It’s all about connections, as I wrote about here recently (The Internet of Things & Connecting with Consumers).
The majority (78%) of business executives at least have heard of IoT, more than of M2M (76%). A year ago, only about a half (53%) of execs had heard of IoT.
An interesting pattern is emerging from that 27% of businesses with M2M projects going. Customer capabilities are being added by 42% of them and more than half (55%) are adding new types of devices.
This means more consumers will start to experience, even if not physically see, the effects of the Internet of Things.
Like any new technology capabilities introduced, some companies will jump ahead of others.
In the M2M study, 83% of adopters say they have gained a competitive advantage because of it. And the overall benefits are wide-ranging, with customer service noted by almost half (47%) of execs. Here’s where companies see improvement after adopting M2M:
- 52% — Process and productivity
- 47% — Customer service
- 46% — Speed/agility of decision-making
- 44% — Costs
- 43% — Competitive advantage
- 42% — Innovation
- 39% — Consistent delivery across markets
- 37% — Revenue
- 37% — Performance in new markets
How IoT initiatives in an organization are funded varies, with 46% coming from the IT budget, 42% from the department benefiting and 30% seen as a cost of doing business. Almost a third (29%) looks to consumers to pay and almost as many (28%) look to share the risk and reward with the provider.
The countries included in the study were the U.S., Brazil, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, U.K., Spain, Turkey, Australia, India, Japan, South Korea, China, South Africa, Canada and New Zealand.
The world of the Internet of Things is, among other things, very global.