Features Hub

IoT is not just an IT project

Mon 25 Feb 2019 | Sylwia Kechiche

IoT has truly moved beyond Proof of Concept (PoC) and trials into full-scale deployments, but firms cannot view these as one-off projects, by GSMA Intelligence’s Principal IoT Analyst, Sylwia Kechiche

GSMA Intelligence recently conducted an IoT Enterprise survey to measure the spread of enterprise IoT projects. Its results show that 48 percent of enterprise had deployed IoT by 2018. What is even more staggering is that these enterprises span across all sizes, from 20+ employees to 1,000+ employees. Which means that IoT is truly moving beyond Proof of Concept (PoC) and trials into full-scale deployments.

According to GSMA forecasts, industrial IoT connections will grow from 3.7 billion in 2018 to 13.8 billion, and will account for just over half of all IoT connections in 2025. This is due to the growing adoption of IoT solutions within enterprises in addition to growth in specific vertical industries – for example, utilities and manufacturing-related applications.

Industry of things

In the industrial context, IoT enables new business models, which create value by connecting existing and new things together to establish new business processes, increase business efficiency, enable greater innovation and drive improved visibility across an organisation. IoT implementation leads to CAPEX and OPEX savings as well.

According to GSMA’s survey, productivity increase is one of the key benefits derived from implementing IoT solutions. Others are related to improved customer care as well lower operational costs. For example, Ericsson’s Panda Nanjing factory, deployed IoT to automate production resulting in savings from efficiency increase, reduction in maintenance costs and increased flexibility in product line design. The first year provided a 50 percent return on investment, while breakeven is projected in less than two years.

One of the key benefits of IoT is the ability for companies to offer more tailored products and services. For example, insurance companies, using data collected by IoT devices, can get more accurate insights and can offer customers a simple mechanism to reduce their car insurance premiums.

“IoT is about the digital transformation of businesses. It is not just about connecting devices.”

Platform power

Enterprises are increasingly choosing IoT platforms as they ramp up investments and size of IoT rollouts. This is because IoT platforms speed up time to market and lower costs by providing more standardised components, tools and APIs, which can be shared and deployed across solutions in multiple verticals. Another important facet of IoT deployment is security and data privacy.

Addressing these is particularly challenging in the IoT realm, as it consists of billions of simple, low-powered devices with limited processing capability and long lifecycles. As such, maintenance and routine firmware upgrades become an essential requirement to ensure business continuity. In addition, designing and integrating both hardware and software security into IoT devices is crucial to defend IoT from “chip to cloud”. Security cannot be an afterthoughts or simply a hygiene factor.

IoT is not just an IT project

IoT is about the digital transformation of businesses. It is not just about connecting devices. These connected devices generate data, which in turn provides actionable insights and creates value. So, seeing it as a one-off project or focusing on deploying new hardware without planning how it will be integrated with legacy systems is a danger.

As the industrial IoT market scales, the need for organisations to modernise and transform their technology capabilities is also being driven by the accelerating convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), as part of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’.

Join me at Smart IoT.

Sylwia is presenting at Smart IoT, taking place at ExCeL London March 12-13th. Smart IoT and its colocated events attract over 20,000 IT industry professionals.

Experts featured:

Sylwia Kechiche

Principal Analyst, IoT
GSMA Intelligence


industrial internet of things IoT
Send us a correction Send us a news tip