While virtually all business leaders (98 percent) have an understanding of the Internet of Things (IoT), many are unclear of the exact definition of IoT and what it means for their business. So says a new study from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company focusing on IoT maturity across business sectors. The research questioned 3,100 IT and business decision-makers across 20 countries.

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 system.”

TM Forum uses the term Internet of Everything to include people too.

Ashton says that the real-world benefits gained from IoT have exceeded original expectations. This ‘expectations dividend’, as he calls it, is evident in two key performance areas: business efficiency and profitability.

  • As an example, only 16 percent of business leaders projected a large profit gain from their IoT investment, yet post-adoption, 32 percent of executives realized profit increases.
  • Similarly, only 29 percent of executives expected their IoT strategies to result in business efficiency improvements, whereas actual results show that 46 percent experienced efficiency gains.

Chris Kozup, VP if 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 advantage.”

The report reveals that 85 percent of businesses plan to implement IoT by 2019, driven by a need for innovation and business efficiency. However, connecting thousands of things to existing business networks has already resulted in security breaches for the majority of organizations, it finds.

Aruba’s research reveals varying levels of IoT maturity across different industry sectors. It pinpoints five vertical industries as leaders in their adoption of IoT, realizing tangible business benefits. Aruba puts this down to a “focused, use case approach.”

There are: Enterprise, industrial, healthcare, retail and government.

Download the Aruba research


This article first appeared in TMForum