A recent survey conducted by Zebra Technologies, titled, Intelligent Enterprise Index, was recently released. This study was conducted as an online survey of 908 IT decision makers from global enterprises competing in healthcare, manufacturing, retail, transportation and logistics industries. Here are a number of key statistics from the report along with our point of view on what’s behind these numbers for the IoT market.

“62% [of respondents] plan to deploy IoT initiatives company-wide in the future”

The Internet of Things is hitting the radars of more companies. Roughly 563 of the IT decision makers surveyed (there is no mention of how many unique companies this represented) have an IoT project in a planning stage of development. The question left unanswered though is how many of these companies transition from planning to execution. I think there are cultural challenges that must be overcome first before any real execution occurs on the IoT front for a vast majority of companies. Company-wide initiatives seems to imply “across-departmental” initiatives which will require change management and cultural development.

42% of enterprises are spending an average of $3.1M annually on IoT.

It appears that a decent number of these “global enterprises” (roughly 381 IT decision makers) are piloting IoT. For global enterprises, $3M annual budget seems to be a “place a start” with IoT implementation to begin a digital transformation process. Since massive IoT initiatives tend to be wide-sweeping, this budget level appears modest and focused more on testing the opportunity than going all-in at this time.

The study includes the Index that focuses on evaluating each company on a set of eleven points. You can view the full study here to learn about each of the eleven points. According to the Index,

48% are on their way to becoming intelligent enterprises, scoring 50 to 75 points on the index. 47% scored between 25-50 points on the Index, using half of their organizational intelligence. Only 5% scored above 75 points on the overall Index, making them Intelligent Enterprises as defined by the index.

Roughly 95% of companies aspire to become intelligent enterprises whole very few (less than 6%) have attained it based on the Index’ evaluation criteria. This is not surprising for many reasons.

First, there are not many success stories yet to pave the way for other companies. The IoT is in the pioneering stage of market development where the innovators and early adopters are taking risks to figure out the right paths forward. Many other companies prefer for the pioneers to take the risks first and won’t jump on board, in any real material way, until clearer visions for success are laid out. The IoT market is young and there’s a lot to learn before it’s widely adopted.

Improving customer experiences (70%) and safety (56%) are the two areas enterprises are using data generated from IoT solutions most often today.

I think both of these statistics are not surprising relative to the immaturity of the IoT market. IN order for companies who want to pursue the IoT to get funding, they have to demonstrate some measurable results – whether cutting cuts (safety claims) or improving revenue. I think this is especially true in the industries that participated in this study which included healthcare, manufacturing, retail, transportation and logistics. These industries are pushing towards digital transformation where the IoT plays a core role. But the transition is great (and probably slower) across these industries.

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