UK businesses of all sizes says Internet of Things ‘Vital for success’

Anne Sheehan of Vodafone

A new report from Vodafone highlights that more than half of business providers in the UK (58%) believe it is essential to embrace Internet of Things (IoT) technology to be successful.

Vodafone’s Digital, Ready? report, surveyed 2,000 business providers from large enterprises through to sole traders and reveals that whatever the size of organisation, IoT is seen as a key success driver. For businesses up to 49 employees, 41% believe IoT is vital for success; rising to 67% across large enterprises (2,500+ employees). 64% of all respondents believe IoT will improve their business operations; and 62% believe that every business will benefit from the technology.

Vodafone is partnering with organisations globally to help them understand how they can innovate with IoT and thrive in this digital age. From sensors that measure tail movement to accurately predict when a cow is most likely to give birth to smart fitting rooms that allow shoppers to scan the clothes tags in the fitting room and contact shop floor staff directly; or a healthcare provider that is using IoT to deliver outstanding care in the face of increasing demand and rising costs.

Looking in more detail at IoT, 31% of all organisations intend to adopt IoT in the next two years, including a quarter of businesses with 1-49 employees; 39% of businesses with 50-250 employees; and 30% of large enterprises.

Anne Sheehan, enterprise director, Vodafone UK, commented “IoT can drive innovation and value withinan organisation, helping it to achieve operational efficiencies, build more valuable relationships with its customers and facilitate entirely new business models. I believe it offers all organisations a huge opportunity to thrive in this digital age – and they must seize this opportunity now.”

“I’m really encouraged that businesses recognise the role IoT can play; and as global leader in IoT, consider it our role to bring the opportunities to life. There’s no doubt we will see many more applications in the monthsand years to come.”

However, a lack of understanding could still stifle its potential. 41% of business leaders are concerned that IoT is too complex for their business; and 36% admit they do not understand it – an admission spread evenly across organisations of all sizes.

The findings revealed are part of a wider report exploring the digital journey being undertaken by UK organisations. It reveals that 79% of businesses see digital transformation as a strategic priority, with key benefits including improving efficiency (57%), improving customer experience (51%) and remaining competitive (49%). To drive this digital agenda forward, 82% of businesses see investing in new technology as a priority.

Other technologies that organisations are planning to adopt in the next two years include Real-time analytics (36%), unified communications (34%), Artificial Intelligence (AI) (28%) and blockchain (30%).

Vodafone is a provider in managed IoT connections with 74 million connections and an international network and services platform supporting a wide range of business-critical applications.

Figure 1:

Q: Do you currently use any of these technologies in your organisation/business? (Use now/Plan to use in the next two years/no plans to adopt

Plans to use in the next 2 years (%)

Use now (%)

No plans (%)


Plans to use in the next two years (%) by business size

All business sizes

 1-5050-250250-2500 2500+
Real time analytics3639252842 41 32
UC3434312341 3536
IOT3136342538 30 30
Big Data3037332634 34 30
Location based services3040302436 31 29
Blockchain3020492136 35 31
Voice recognition28274520373325
Augmented reality2817551836 36 29
Virtual reality2518571531 32 29
3D printing2423531732 27 22
Robotics2419571528 28 33
Cloud2163152026 19 20


Research was conducted by Circle Research in August 2018. All 2001 respondents were involved in strategy and/or technology decision making at their organisation and reached through an online quantitative survey.

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