IoT now top priority in driving digital transformation

IoT has become the leading technology for digital transformation and is the number one priority for 92 per cent of organisations, according to global research findings published by Inmarsat.

The Inmarsat Research Programme study focusing on the enterprise application of the IoT revealed that machine learning (38 per cent), robotics (35 per cent), and 3D printing (31 per cent) were also key requirements for effectively delivering digital transformation for business.

Conducted independently on behalf of Inmarsat by Vanson Bourne, The Inmarsat Research Programme report "The Future of IoT in Enterprise 2017" surveyed 500 senior respondents from across the agritech, energy production, transportation and mining sectors, from organisations over a 1,000 employees in size.

The key findings reveal that almost all (97 per cent) respondents are experiencing, or expect to experience, significant benefits from the deployment of IoT technologies. Improved service delivery capabilities (47 per cent), better health and safety across the organisation (46 per cent), and greater workforce productivity (45 per cent) were identified as the top three benefits to be gained from the deployment of IoT-based solutions

However, the research also highlights security concerns, a lack of skills (particularly in the deployment of IoT) and connectivity as key challenges that need to be addressed in order to maximise IoT's potential.

Almost half (47 per cent) of respondents believe that their organisation will need to rethink their approach to data security and make heavy investments to meet IoT security requirements. Some 45 per cent cite lack of skills as a particular challenge for their organisation in deploying IoT, while 29 per cent agree with the statement that connectivity issues threaten to derail their IoT deployments before they have even begun.

Paul Gudonis, President, Inmarsat Enterprise, commented: "The development and deployment of IoT is a new phenomenon spreading over every industry in every part of the world and this research has confirmed that IoT is the leading technology in digital transformation, taking a steady lead over other forms of innovation.

"IoT acts as the eyes and ears of organisations and its value comes from how the data it collects is used to improve effectiveness across an organisation. As such, it is unsurprising that so many organisations are deploying IoT to propel their digital transformation initiatives.

"However, this is not to imply that challenges are absent. The research points to clear concerns - namely, security, skills, and connectivity. The increasing interconnectivity of devices, teamed with a heightened cyber-security landscape and a short supply of relevant skills, brings an array of issues. To overcome these challenges, collaboration is key.

"Developing new technology is complex and draws on many different type of skills. Reliable network infrastructure providers, that can operate anywhere in the world, need to work closely with end-user businesses to make sure they understand their operational needs."