Three quarters of SA companies plan to implement IoT strategies in the near future, with 33% saying they have plans to start a strategy in the next six months and 40% planning to start in the next year or two.
This is one of the key findings of a IoT survey conducted by IoT.nxt on technology and IT web platform ITWeb.
“This shows that understanding of the value of implementing IoT strategies and how this can unlock business value and drive efficiencies has grown dramatically in the past two years. We have experienced rapid growth in interest in what IoT can deliver in the past year and many companies we engaged with fast-tracked their plans once they realise how using IoT can address business challenges,” says IoT.nxt CEO, Nico Steyn.
The survey showed that respondents expected to see the biggest benefit in operations, as 54% of companies indicated this as the business unit most likely to benefit most from IoT according to their understanding. In second place, with 20% of responses, was that using IoT will benefit the company’s executive committee and its strategic guidance for the business.
The survey further showed that companies expect to gain the most value through implementation of IoT data for their business intelligence and data analytics. Almost 40% of respondents listed that is the biggest value to be gained, while 30+% said that using IoT will deliver value in operational applications.
“What is most encouraging is that 63% of participants indicated that they view IoT as a business strategy and not a set of applications. Implementing IoT is about business strategy and the business goals companies want to achieve,” Steyn says.
“The results have confirmed our belief that SA companies are ready for the IoT revolution. The fourth industrial revolution is no longer on the horizon, it has arrived and awareness and readiness to adopt IoT is high.” Steyn added.
Close to 70% of respondents indicated that the ability to connect existing equipment is an important factor to enable IoT deployment. Steyn notes that interoperability and the ability to connect legacy systems are key drivers of the IoT.nxt approach.
Intelligence at the edge is considered as very important by 62% of respondents. “It is by utilising this intelligence at the edge that IoT.nxt’s platform is able to unlock true business value and demonstrable return on investment, leading to increased competitiveness, relevance and profitability. That is ultimately engine behind every business strategy,” according to Steyn.
Regarding industry sectors, 38% of respondents are active in information technology, 15% in finance, banking and insurance, 12% in telecommunication and 4% in business services and consulting.
The scope for IoT strategies in South Africa is significant as only 26% of participants indicated that they are currently actively using IoT technologies.
The total number of participants for the survey was 249 of which 28% are in executive management, 34.6% in middle management and 24.7% are IT staff.