February 28, 2017
new global study reveals that IoT will soon be widespread as 85% of
businesses plan to implement IoT by 2019, driven by a need for
innovation and business efficiency. While the analysis confirms the
clear business benefits from investments in IoT, Aruba’s report cautions
that connecting thousands of things to existing business networks has
already resulted in security breaches for the majority of organizations.
The research questioned 3,100 IT and business decision makers across 20
countries to evaluate the current state of IoT and its impact across
different industries. The study shows that while virtually all business
leaders (98%) have an understanding of IoT, many are unclear of the
exact definition of IoT and what it means for their business.
In his new eBook ‘ Making Sense of IoT ’, commissioned by Aruba,
technology visionary Kevin Ashton—who coined the term 'Internet of
Things’— presents the following definition:
“The ‘Internet of Things’ means sensors connected to the Internet and
behaving in an Internet-like way by making open, ad hoc connections,
sharing data freely and allowing unexpected applications, so computers
can understand the world around them and become humanity’s nervous
The Expectations Dividend
When examining the business benefits of IoT, Ashton discovered that the
real-world benefits gained from IoT exceeded even the original
expectations. This ‘expectations dividend’ is evident in two key
performance areas: business efficiency and profitability.
As an example, only 16% of business leaders projected a large profit
gain from their IoT investment, yet post-adoption, 32% of executives
realized profit increases. Similarly, only 29% of executives expected
their IoT strategies to result in business efficiency improvements,
whereas actual results show that 46% experienced efficiency gains.
Chris Kozup, vice president of marketing at Aruba, comments: “With the
business benefits of IoT surpassing expectations, it’s no surprise that
the business world will move towards mass adoption by 2019. But with
many executives unsure of how to apply IoT to their business, those who
succeed in implementing IoT are well positioned to gain a competitive
How Global Organizations are Using IoT
Aruba's research reveals varying levels of IoT maturity across different
industry sectors. The following five vertical industries are leaders in
their adoption of IoT and have realized tangible business benefits from
a focused, use case approach to adoption.
Enterprises create a smart workplace for productivity and efficiency:
• Over seven in ten
(72%) enterprises have introduced IoT devices into the workplace. Indoor
location-based services ranks as the second most promising use case to
improve employee productivity, after remote monitoring. Twenty percent
report remote operation of building lighting and temperature as a key
use case, but that number more than doubles to 53% when asked about
future IoT implementations.
• Looking at the
tangible results being realized today, 78% say the introduction of IoT
in the workplace has improved the effectiveness of their IT team, and
75% find it has increased profitability.
The industrial sector increases business efficiency and visibility
through IoT-enabled monitoring and maintenance:
• More than six in ten (62%)
respondents in the industrial sector have already implemented IoT. Using
IoT to monitor and maintain essential industrial functions was
identified as the most impactful use case in the sector. Today, the use
of IP-based surveillance cameras for physical security within industrial
organizations is still in its infancy, with only 6% having implemented
it. However, when asked about future implementations, surveillance
jumped five-fold to 32%.
• Across the sector,
83% report increased business efficiency and another 80% have found
improved visibility across the organization.
Healthcare introduces IoT to improve patient monitoring, reduce cost and
• Coming in as the
third most advanced in its implementation of IoT, 60% of healthcare
organizations globally have introduced IoT devices into their
• Across the sector,
42% of executives rank monitoring and maintenance as the number one use
of IoT—higher than all other sectors. This underscores the importance of
IoT-enabled patient monitoring in the modern healthcare industry.
• Eight in ten report
an increase in innovation and another 73% report cost savings.
Retailers engage with customers and boost sales using indoor location
• Just 49% of
retailers are using IoT technology, but 81% of these report improved
customer experiences. An improved customer experience is likely to have
a significant impact on customer loyalty and ultimately, revenue.
• In-store location
services delivering personalized offers and product information to
shoppers was touted as the number one implementation for IoT, alongside
monitoring and maintenance. Four in ten retailers ranked surveillance in
their top three key use cases.
Governments lag in IoT adoption, struggle with legacy technology but
still reduce costs:
• The slowest sector
to adopt IoT, only 42% of municipalities have deployed IoT devices and
sensors. A third (35%) of IT decision makers claim their executives have
little to no understanding of IoT, double the global average, suggesting
that lack of education is the biggest barrier to mass adoption in this
• While nearly half
(49%) of government IT departments are struggling with legacy
technology, seven in ten IoT adopters in the public sector report cost
savings and improved organizational visibility as the major benefits.
The Data Context and Security Challenge
Alongside these positive returns, the study also uncovers a number of
obstacles that IT leaders feel are preventing IoT from delivering
greater business impact. In particular, the cost of implementation
(50%), maintenance (44%) and integration of legacy technology (43%) were
highlighted as key issues.
Most notably, security flaws were found across many IoT deployments. The
study found that 84% of organizations have experienced an IoT-related
security breach. More than half of respondents declared that external
attacks are a key barrier to embracing and adopting an IoT strategy.
This confirms that a holistic IoT security strategy, built on strong
network access control and policy management, will not only protect
enterprises but also simplify the security approach for IT.
The ability to capture and effectively use data is described by Kevin
Ashton as “what defines the Internet of Things”, but this appears to be
another clear challenge for global organizations. While nearly all (98%)
of organizations that have adopted IoT claim that they can analyze data,
almost all respondents (97%) feel there are challenges to creating value
from this data. Well over a third (39%) of businesses are not extracting
or analyzing data within corporate networks, and are thereby missing out
on insights that could improve business decisions.
comments, “While IoT grows in deployment, scale and complexity, proper
security methodologies to protect the network and devices, and more
importantly, the data and insights they extract, must also keep pace. If
businesses do not take immediate steps to gain visibility and profile
the IoT activities within their offices, they run the risk of exposure
to potentially malicious activities. Aruba is enabling customers to
rapidly assess IoT deployments within their facilities and determine any
potential threats that may be present.”
Ashton concludes: “Since its inception in 1999, the Internet of Things
has been ridiculed, criticized, and misunderstood. And yet here we are,
less than two decades later, in a world where tens of thousands of
organizations are saving and making hundreds of millions of dollars from
the Internet of Things, using cars that drive themselves, subway
stations that sense passengers, algorithms that diagnose deadly diseases
using phones, and many other once apparently-impossible technologies.
The future promises far more amazing things. The most important decision
you can make now is how to be a part of it.”