Welcome to Inmarsat's global research study:

The Future of IoT in Enterprise - 2017

Investigating the views of 500 enterprise IoT decision-makers

About this project

21%

of respondent organisations have fully deployed IoT-based solutions

33%

of respondent organisations have already at least partially deployed IoT-based solutions

82%

of respondent organisations will have deployed an IoT solution within 2 years

It's hard to picture a new age when you're living through it.

Yet the new digital age we are entering is going to turn everything we do and think on its head. We can now transform everyday objects into a network of information that allows us to understand our world more than ever. The Internet of Things will become the eyes and ears of the world around us, enabling radical change in our homes and work.

And innovation is needed more now than ever.

By 2050, the world population will hit 10 billion people, which will demand entirely new thought processes if we are to live sustainably and peacefully on this planet. We will need new production methods if we are going to feed everyone. Mass urbanisation will challenge how we connect our cities and enable transportation across the world. Demand for energy and for raw materials will increase.

The Internet of Things will be the gateway to this innovation.

Our research confirmed that IoT is the leading technology in the digital transformation that is storming through businesses the world over. Machine learning, robotics, automation, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and augmented reality can only bring significant value when they are guided by the most accurate data possible. Organisations are using IoT in a variety of different ways:

Anticipated future deployment of IoT amongst organisations that have already deployed IoT (by application) (%)

Smart monitoring of asset levels
Employee tracking through wearables
Energy consumption monitoring
Monitoring product usage
Business process automation
Smart security management
Wide area controls such as vehicle/device management

The rate at which sectors are adopting and deploying IoT is radically different and rapidly changing.

Anticipated future IoT deployment levels by sector (%)

Agritech
Energy
Mining
Transport

However, a more connected world brings with it a host of issues that many feel ill-equipped to currently handle - organisations face a host of challenges.

Security

Three quarters of respondents in our survey agreed that they needed to improve their processes to protect against malicious attacks. Time is not on their side, and the speed of IoT development makes it critical that the sectors surveyed overhaul their approach to security to smooth the transition to becoming digital-first businesses.

Connectivity

Without the connectivity to transfer IoT data to the right place for analysis, it is useless. A common challenge for the sectors that we surveyed is the remoteness of their operations. Whether it is an opencast mine, an oil rig, or farm, each of them faces a challenge in getting the level of connectivity that they require.

A global skills shortage is also an obstacle.

The development and deployment of IoT is a new phenomenon spreading over every industry in every part of the world. Yet, the IT skills needed to innovate and manage the technology are in short supply. Shortages in the fields of data security, analytical data science and technical support are acute.

Does your organisation have the skills to make the most from IoT at a delivery level?

We have all the skills we need
We would benefit from additional skills at this level
We are lacking the skills we need at this level

Collaboration is key if IoT projects are to be successful.

Developing new technology is complex and draws on many different types of skills and experience.

Organisations are working more collaboratively than ever, using external partners in multiple ways to plug the gaps to deliver IoT successfully.

Reliable network infrastructure providers that can operate anywhere in the world need to work closely with end-user businesses to make sure they understand their operational needs.

And everyone in this network needs to work in a continuous cycle, edging upwards to new heights of efficiency.

Is your organisation using/planning to use external partners in the development and deployment of its IoT-based solutions?

All managed in-house
Use an external provider to assist with some of this
Use an external provider to assist with as much of this as possible
It has not yet been decided

Innovative companies with sector specific knowledge need to
draw in a network of specialist organisations and work with their customers to ignite innovative new ways of doing things better. And everyone in this network needs to work in a continuous cycle, edging upwards to new heights of efficiency.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us!

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