Covid-19 will accelerate IoT adoption globally, report finds

1 Oct 2020

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New research from Vodafone suggests that IoT integration has become a ‘higher priority’ for businesses due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated a number of trends across businesses and workplaces, including mass shifts to remote working and cloud computing, and a focus digital transformation as a whole. Now, new research from Vodafone Business has suggested that IoT adoption will also accelerate.

Released today (1 October), the IoT Spotlight Report gathered responses from more than 1,600 businesses from 13 countries in May 2020 during Covid-19 restrictions.

While 73pc of respondents said they had to delay IoT projects due to restrictions, 81pc of businesses now view the integration of IoT devices as a higher priority than before. More than two-thirds (77pc) said the pandemic has caused them to rethink their approach and use IoT to provide greater stability and adaptability in their operations, accelerating the pace of some IoT projects.

The report stated that financial and insurance businesses are most likely to now accelerate their IoT projects, even though the insurance sector was most likely to pause some projects during Covid-19.

Commenting on the report, Vodafone Business’s IoT director, Erik Brenneis, said leaders have realised that access to data and automated processes provides “a pathway to digitalisation”. The survey also highlighted the role IoT plays in relation to data, with 86pc of respondents saying that IoT has changed the way they approach analytics and the value of data.

‘IoT has grown up’

Vodafone Ireland’s interim IoT country manager, Marc Daly, said the internet of things is changing the way companies think and operate.

“IoT has grown up,” he said. “This report clearly shows how IoT is an essential technology for businesses that want to be resilient, more flexible and quicker to adapt and react to change. In the current climate, it is more important than ever for businesses to become agile and flexible. This is what IoT can offer.”

While the report stated that this type of technology is “more trusted and used than ever before”, cybersecurity is still seen as a challenge to overcome. However, 43pc of the report’s respondents believe the opportunities IoT offers businesses greatly outweigh implementation challenges such as security.

The IoT acceleration trend has been noted by other industry experts. Earlier this year, Frank Stoecker, CEO of German cellular IoT and M2M connectivity management platform Emnify, told that the pandemic is a “catalyst speeding up the trend of IoT adoption that otherwise would have happened over the course of maybe five, six or seven years”.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic