Xively by LogMeIn, Inc. has released the findings of a new study sponsored by LogMeIn and conducted by Harbor Research, The Internet of Things Journey. It shows that nearly all companies who have embarked on a connected product journey report both financial and customer experience benefits as a result.
The research, which surveyed 600 product companies and other discrete manufacturers in various stages of deployment, found that 87% have seen revenue improvements as a direct result of connecting a product and over 90% saw improvements in business efficiencies and product uptime.
The biggest reported improvement was in customer insights. Only 25% of all companies surveyed expected customer and product insight improvements when they started their connected product project, yet 95% of these manufacturers reported valuable customer insights including customer behavior, needs and preferred modes of interaction, as a real and tangible benefit of connecting a product.
Additionally, 93% reported customer support as a business improvement since connecting products, while 88% also cited improved customer relationships.
These benefits do not come without their challenges, however. According to the survey, 44% of companies in both early and active IoT deployment phases say that data management is the biggest challenge when it comes to using IoT data to make better business decisions. Of the organisations that have existing IoT deployments, 43% cited integration with existing business systems as one of their biggest challenges.
“With proper strategy design and data management in place, the IoT can offer a range of benefits to businesses,” said Jessica Groopman, Harbor Research. “Customer and product data are worth their weight in gold, but only if actionable. In order to achieve the customer and business value of the IoT, data must be properly managed and integrated with critical support tools like CRM systems.”
Other key findings of the study include:
- Revenue is not the key project driver, but is a strong benefit: Only 6% anticipated revenue would be the top benefit of implementation, yet 87% of those who have deployed a product are seeing revenue improvements.
- Business efficiencies are the key project driver: Some 34% of product companies report that business efficiencies are the #1 justification when selling IoT projects internally.
- Companies underestimate the complexity of security: 46% of companies who have actively deployed IoT products cite security as the greatest challenge, while only 30% of those in the planning stages anticipate security to be their biggest challenge.
- Interoperability is a design and early deployment headache: 34% of companies in the planning stages cite interoperability and integration as their greatest expected challenge and 39% of those in early IoT deployment cite it as their greatest challenge. This drops dramatically for active deployment companies where only 23% see it as a challenge.
“The IoT journey is a long and sometimes bumpy road, but one that can completely change a business for the better”, said Paddy Srinivasan, general manager, Xively by LogMeIn. “The challenges companies face are extremely diverse and often times the anticipated issues are not the ones that end up holding an IoT project back. Connected product management tools are designed to help companies move beyond the hurdles of connecting and launching a product for those in the early phases and scaling, securing and integrating products with existing business systems for those in the later in their deployment. The end goal for everyone is to create a product that provides value for both the company and the customer. Ensuring that customer and product data is managed properly, is actionable and available to stakeholders is critical to meeting that goal.”
The survey targeted 600 midsize to enterprise product manufacturers across a wide range of industries, whose primary headquarters were based in the United States. The survey was conducted in collaboration with a professional survey panel provider which used a proprietary online survey tool which included a three-part opt-in for consent and vetted respondents through database segmentation and screeners. The survey was conducted between March and May of 2016.
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