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IoT is top priority in digital transformation

While organisations in a global survey have put IoT as their top priority, those in Southeast Asia remain concerned with the cost and complexity of rolling out the internet of things

The internet of things (IoT) is gaining momentum around the world, with 92% of large organisations putting the technology as the top priority in their digital transformation efforts, a global survey has found.

Conducted independently on behalf of satellite communications company Inmarsat by Vanson Bourne, the survey involved 500 senior respondents from organisations with more than 1,000 employees across various industries, including energy, transportation and mining sectors.

According to the survey, almost all respondents are experiencing, or expect to experience, significant benefits from the deployment of IoT technologies. These include improved service delivery capabilities, better health and safety across the organisation and greater workforce productivity.

However, security concerns continue to stand in the way of maximising IoT’s potential, with almost half of respondents noting that their organisations will have to rethink their approach to data security. They will also have to invest heavily to meet IoT security requirements.

The lack of skills is another bugbear, with 45% of respondents citing the lack of skills as a challenge for their organisations in deploying IoT. Additionally, 29% agree that connectivity issues will derail their IoT deployments.

Paul Gudonis, president of Inmarsat Enterprise, said: “IoT acts as the eyes and ears of organisations and its value comes from how the data it collects is used to improve effectiveness across an organisation. As such, it is unsurprising that so many organisations are deploying IoT to propel their digital transformation initiatives”.

“However, this is not to imply that challenges are absent. The research points to clear concerns – namely, security, skills, and connectivity. The increasing interconnectivity of devices, teamed with a heightened cyber security landscape and a short supply of relevant skills, brings an array of issues. To overcome these challenges, collaboration is key,” he added.

Like their global counterparts, companies in Southeast Asia are also tapping IoT to transform their businesses. A recent survey conducted by Asia IoT Business Platform in ASEAN showed that more than 70% of organisations are currently in the process of exploring or finding possible IoT systems to be implemented.

However, only 7% of them reported benefitting from any IoT implementation. Yet, this is still an improvement from a similar survey in 2016 where only 4% reported benefitting from their IoT implementation. These organisations cite cost, legacy systems and complexity as the top three concerns in adopting IoT.

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Following the interest in IoT technologies but low benefits reported from IoT implementations, Irza Suprapto, director at Asia IoT Business Platform, said it is important to address the challenges that enterprises face in deploying IoT in their businesses.

“The challenges that enterprises face in implementing IoT will determine how they view the benefits of IoT implementation and, in turn, affects the demand for IoT technologies,” Suprapto added.

Specifically in addressing compatibility issues between legacy systems and IoT platforms, some industry experts have urged IoT technology suppliers to embrace standardisation, which will help to ensure that IoT devices do not operate in silos.

One such supplier, Software AG, has recently acquired Cumulocity, which offers a cloud-based IoT device management and application platform. This will enable enterprises to integrate their IT applications with operational IoT devices.

“With Asia-Pacific becoming the frontline for IoT and being the driver of global IoT growth, it is important that customers in the region have access to the best solutions in order to reap the business benefits of IoT deployment,” said Jos Grond, vice-president for business development at Cumulocity.

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