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IoT take-up set to accelerate in 2017

Improved customer services and an enhanced digital offering seen as the main benefits of IoT

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Three in 10 say IoT would drive them to produce higher quality hardware and services
Three in 10 say IoT would drive them to produce higher quality hardware and services

Each consumer is expected to own up to four devices by 2018

Tailored, just-in-time services will be required to stay relevant

Internet of Things (IoT) adoption is predicted to accelerate in 2017 with one fifth of businesses planning to use it to improve customer service and drive overall engagement, a new study finds.


The research from analyst firm SAS also found that more than one third of organisations feel that IoT will have a positive impact on end-user experiences, if fully embraced, and three in 10 believe it would drive them to produce higher quality hardware and services.


The study explored discoveries made by 75 large European organisations that consider themselves “well on their way” to integrating IoT into their operations. The research predicts that organisations are focusing on improving customer-facing processes or efficiency before spending time and energy on internal process departments.


When questioned on the way forward, 17 per cent cited improved customer services and an enhanced digital offering as the main benefits of IoT. Fundamentally, almost 30 per cent stressed the importance of applying design thinking where the users, or user experience, drive design.


“With each consumer expected to own up to four devices by 2018 there is a huge opportunity for companies to use the IoT to get even smarter in attracting their attention,” said Peter Pugh-Jones, head of streaming analytics at SAS UK & Ireland. “Investments in IoT are very much a commercial decision and pay-offs in terms of customer operational efficiency are vital.


“Throughout 2017, a strong customer focus will continue to drive developments in IoT as organisations recognise the need to provide tailored, just-in-time services to stay relevant to consumers,” he added.


Nearly one in 10 of those surveyed cited concerns about losing market share to competitors, losing efficiency and not being able to produce a cost-effective service as the biggest risks of not embracing IoT. The consensus among respondents was that stopping to audit the market and competitors, which is already becoming ever more unpredictable, may lead to being left behind.


One in five of those surveyed named real-time data analytics and security concerns as their biggest challenges in implementing IoT. The most common response to the problem of a skills shortage around data and analytics was to form a partnership with a technology vendor, according to four in 10 (38 per cent).


A willingness to engage with and acquire new skills was also seen as crucial for success, with respondents using terms like ‘go shopping’ and ‘buy in skills’. Many early adopters of IoT have bypassed a need to acquire technology expertise by working with consultants to ‘buy-in’ skills that are not available in house.


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