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Vodafone report highlights surge in IoT deployments

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34% of companies are now using some kind of internet of things solutions in their business, with over 76% of these firms saying the solutions are mission-critical to them.

This is according to Vodafone’s most recent IoT Barometer report, the sixth time that the UK-based telco has released a report looking at adoption in the connected things space.

In the previous Barometer, released last year, Vodafone found just 29% companies are using IoT, showing a surge of 5% over the last year. Regionally, the Americas saw the highest growth, rising from 27% to 40%, with the biggest sector increases coming across transport and logistics (15% growth to 42%) and manufacturing and industrials (up 9% from 30% to 39%).

Vodafone said early adopters are now moving beyond the initial pilot stage, with 70% now saying they have either one or more full-scale project. This has led to 81% saying they have seen their reliance on IoT increase, with 8% saying their “entire business depends on IoT”.

In terms of benefits, 95% of those businesses Vodafone spoke to claim to have seen measurable benefits from their IoT project with over half claiming to have seen a significant return on their investment.

Confidence in the mobile-based technology is also growing, Vodafone said. According to the Barometer, 84% of adopters have seen their confidence grow over the past 12 months, with 83% saying the scale of their projects has grown, and 79% saying they are investing more money into the technology.

Stefano Gastaut, CEO IoT, Vodafone Business, commented: “IoT is central to business success in an increasingly digitised world, with 72% of adopters saying digital transformation is impossible without it. The good news is that IoT platforms make the technology easier to deploy for businesses of all sizes and NB-IoT and 5G will improve services and potential. In this climate, companies need to be considering not if but how they will implement IoT, and they must also be fully committed to the technology to realise the strongest benefit.”

While use cases for IoT are varied, ranging from medical exoskeletons to connected tyres, the research has found that IoT impacts businesses regardless of size and sector. 60% of businesses that use IoT agree that it has either completely disrupted their industry or will do so in the next five years. Eighty-four per cent of adopters report growing confidence in IoT, with 83% enlarging the scale of deployments to take advantage of full benefits.

With 5G deployments expected to accelerate this year, Vodafone found that over half of early IoT adopters are planning to use 5G in their networks, looking to benefit from higher data volumes, increased reliability and low latencies offered by the next generation of mobile.

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