With more than 1,400 respondents, Vodafone’s annual “IoT Barometer” report is one of the more credible annual IoT surveys. They've just released this year's results and it's distinctly upbeat! We've highlighted some of their findings -
- Over a third of all companies are now using IoT, three quarters of which describe IoT as "mission-critical". 8% are "entirely reliant" on IoT - we're a bit surprised that number isn't higher as most of our customers are "born connected" and so definitely fall into that category (as their proposition just doesn't work without connectivity).
- IoT is becoming business as usual - early forays into IoT were treated as a one-off experiment, peripheral to the business ("Jim, you can be in charge of our IoT stuff") but now the internet of things is expanding into every part of the business, just as happened with the Web.
- 95% of IoT adopters have seen significant benefits - often initially around on lowering costs by operating more efficiently but as companies mature they start to see opportunities to use IoT to drive new revenue too. (On a similar note, check out Pricing and Selling IoT).
- Integration with other business systems is seen as key. This one is unsurprising to us - at DevicePIlot, we've prioritised easy integration with not just IoT platforms but also other business systems such as CRM.
- There's a wide spread of requirements across data volume and time-sensitivity with 64% saying they'd pay more for consistently fast delivery of data whereas 43% said they're happy to go a bit slower for reduced cost. This certainly chimes with us - we see three orders of magnitude variation in how often DevicePilot customers send data to the cloud, which is why we've moved from device-based to message-based pricing. And you can see why Vodafone is interested in this question, as the low-bandwidth technologies NB-IoT and Cat-M are becoming ubiquitous - rivals are selling "fixed price for the life of the device" deals, and there's competition from unlicensed LPWAN technologies such as LoRAWAN.
- As a communications provider, Vodafone has included the obligatory section on 5G, though personally we're sceptical that 5G has much relevance in the near term. The biggest challenge of most IoT deployments is simply coverage and 5G just doesn't solve that problem (though something like, for example, Starlink might).
- There are many different ways to slice up the application space but the picture below tells a story:
Credit: Vodafone, 2019