How enterprises are cashing in on the IoT growth opportunity

Tony Judd, MD UKI and Nordics at Verizon

When we released Verizon’s annual State of the Market: Internet of Things 2016 report earlier this year, we were not surprised to learn that enterprises view the Internet of Things (IoT) as a new revenue stream, says Tony Judd, MD UKI and Nordics at Verizon.

Revenue growth is by far the biggest factor driving IoT adoption in the enterprise and going forward IoT deployments are seen as a mainstream path to generating higher revenues for enterprises.

This evolution within the enterprise – from seeing IoT as an innovative “nice to have”, to a “must have” cash generator – is the result of key advancements made in the past year. These include:

  • Data monetisation – Enterprises are just beginning to understand how to pull value out of the massive amount of data generated by connected devices, sensors, etc. Our research shows that only 8% of businesses are using more than 25% of their IoT data. In two to three years enterprises expect to use more than 25% of their data. Insight is valuable, and as enterprises put IoT-generated insight into practice (either for themselves or for their clients) IoT becomes a revenue centre rather than a cost centre.
  • Core IoT networks – Until now, the cost to connect utility meters and other sensors and devices containing smaller chipsets (Category 1 devices) has been a major barrier to widespread enterprise IoT adoption, but the changing nature of the network is lowering this barrier. Additionally, 5G wireless technology will be able to handle more devices and new IoT categories like robotics, and virtual and augmented reality.
  • Platform-as-a-service – IoT deployments are complex, involve the convergence of a variety of technologies and communications technologies, and carry inherent concerns about privacy and security. IoT-specific platforms – which make building, deploying and managing IoT solutions easier – are starting to develop and their continued proliferation will speed IoT in the enterprise.
  • IoT start-ups – Our findings show that last year investment in IoT start-ups addressing enterprise services outpaced consumer applications by 75%. The market sees the money to be made by IoT in the enterprise and 2016 should see enterprise IoT funding similarly dominate that of consumer.

However, IoT successes are not just wishes for the future. Many organisations have already adopted IoT solutions and will provide learnings, and a roadmap, for others to follow this year.

Three good examples of how enterprises are putting this technology to work for them include:

  • Making buildings more efficient: BuildingLink.com, a connected residential property solution, used ThingSpace to create a sensor network covering the fitness centre and laundry room facilities to allow residents to check real- time availability of treadmills, washing machines, etc. Additionally, the solution provides machine-specific utilisation patterns so management can remove underutilised machines or add others to meet demands by residents.
  • Connecting more cars: Safety continues to rank first in terms of the overall awareness and value of connected car for consumers and automakers. In addition to creating a pathway for more robust safety features, Verizon’s 4G LTE’s high bandwidth and low latency will enable entertainment features such as audio and video streaming as well– allowing for an enhanced driver experience
  • Farming for oysters: Ward Aquafarms, a ten-acre, 1,000 cage aquaculture farm located in Cape Cod, Massachusetts worked with Verizon and Mobotix AG to monitor the safety of its Oyster harvest-to-bag process and predict growth. The company is dedicated to growing the freshest oysters possible and the IoT solution allowed them to pull satellite imaging data, environmental and sub-tidal water temperature, and chlorophyll values and gain valuable insights into its aqua farming operations.

We are beginning to see keen interest from our enterprise clients as they realise the huge impact IoT will have on their business model. The end result will enable businesses to intelligently advance their operational capabilities while better meeting customer needs in ways not previously thought possible.

The author of this blog is Tony Judd, MD UKI and Nordics at Verizon

About the author:

Tony is the managing director for Verizon UK & Ireland and Nordics. After 30 years of experience in IT and Communications, Tony is widely recognised as an expert in the IT and Communications sector having helped numerous organisations and people grow significantly. He currently heads up a team of 550 people across EMEA. He took up his current position after working as head of Solution Design, Architecture and Sales Engineering – EMEA where he was responsible for end to end solution design, from initial business and architecture consultancy through to detailed service, commercial and technology design.

Prior to joining Verizon, he held a variety of executive roles across Sales, Transformation, Service, Solutions and Operations working for companies such as Level 3 and Cable & Wireless.

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