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MEF’s recently published IoT Enterprise Survey discusses the key issues, business drivers, appetite for innovation, current & future technology choices and supplier preferences for enterprise IoT. MEF has spoken to 450 enterprises, from small to large, in nine key markets across eight core IoT segments. Andrew Parkin-White, IoT Programme Director at MEF and Phil Todd, Director Stereoscope, co-authored the report and presented the key findings at a webinar on October 19th 2021.

Of particular note, is that IoT planning has been completely changed by COVID with every country and every sector have had their IoT plans significantly or completely changed by COVID. In fact, over 77% of organisations have said this. Brazil overall has been most affected, followed by Germany and France.

Watch the MEF IoT Webinar in full

Below are five key takeaways from the extensive research undertaken.

Creating business advantage is the key driver in IoT deployments

Globally, 83% of enterprises state that using technology for business advantage is the most important driver in IoT uptake. Security and fraud prevention are also important factors, but interestingly IoT deployment is not seen as central to digital transformation, often thought to be a key driver. Similarly, making cost savings and improving customer experience are lower in terms of importance.

While the number of new IoT applications in development has slowed in enterprises using IoT, there is a strong indication that there is growth happening. Globally 63% of companies expect IoT implementations to grow by at least 5% in the next twelve months.

Security and over-the-air upgrades represent two key requirements beyond connectivity

An IoT solution has multiple aspects and enterprises do have distinct priorities in terms of importance. Beyond connectivity, IoT security and over-the-air upgrades are the most important aspects of deployments followed closely by integrated SIMs. Around 82% of enterprises see the biggest IoT security challenge to be the avoidance of network hacking, followed by the issue of network security.

IoT is still on a clear growth trajectory

While the number of new IoT applications in development has slowed in enterprises using IoT, there is a strong indication that there is growth happening. Globally 63% of companies expect IoT implementations to grow by at least 5% in the next twelve months with the largest companies anticipating most growth. Companies in all sectors are taking a pragmatic view – with IoT plans being driven by a combination of emerging business need and having a defined future roadmap for IoT deployments.

Despite heavy reliance on legacy technologies, there is a strong appetite for 5G

Enterprises are still makin extensive use of legacy technologies with 94% of organisations using 3G and 75% using 2G. WiFi remains important to organisations with 70% using it. 4G  NB-IoT is used by 38% of enterprises. Non-licensed technologies, such as LORA and Sigfox, are in use in almost a fifth of companies. Looking to the future, 66% of companies are evaluating or have active plans for 5G in their IoT deployments. And another 3% have already begun to use 5G. Higher bandwidth and virtualisation are the leading 5G features in terms of importance – latency is ranked the least important.

The field for different suppliers is wide open but enterprises are clear on what they seek

Globally, mobile network operators are the most trusted IoT partner with 89% of enterprises trusting them. However, there is little difference between them and other providers – specialist IoT organisations, other CSPs, hyperscalers, systems integrators -in implying that enterprises are very open to working with these organisations with a high ranking of trust from each. The most used selection criteria are ongoing support, technical innovation, and business model and terms. There are three essential requirements on suppliers to ALL vertical sectors are to – integrate all elements of a solution, handle the complete project and offer ongoing support.

Andrew Parkin-White

MEF IoT  Programme Director

  

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