Insight | Research Programme 2017: The Future of IoT in Enterprise


Research Programme 2017: The Future of IoT in Enterprise



have fully deployed IoT-based solutions


have already at least partially deployed IoT-based solutions


will have deployed an IoT solution within 2 years

It's hard to picture a new age when you're living through it.

Yet the new digital age we are entering is going to turn everything we do and think on its head. We can now transform everyday objects into a network of information that allows us to understand our world more than ever. The Internet of Things will become the eyes and ears of the world around us, enabling radical change in our homes and work.

And innovation is needed more now than ever.

By 2050, the world population will hit 10 billion people, which will demand entirely new thought processes if we are to live sustainably and peacefully on this planet. We will need new production methods if we are going to feed everyone. Mass urbanisation will challenge how we connect our cities and enable transportation across the world. Demand for energy and for raw materials will increase.

The future of the agritech sector

The future of the energy sector

The future of the mining sector

The future of the transport sector

The Internet of Things will be the gateway to this innovation.

Our research confirmed that IoT is the leading technology in the digital transformation that is storming through businesses the world over. Machine learning, robotics, automation, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and augmented reality can only bring significant value when they are guided by the most accurate data possible. Organisations are using IoT in a variety of different ways.

The rate at which sectors are adopting and deploying IoT is radically different and rapidly changing.

However, a more connected world brings with it a host of issues that many feel ill-equipped to currently handle - organisations face a host of challenges.


Three quarters of respondents in our survey agreed that they needed to improve their processes to protect against malicious attacks. Time is not on their side, and the speed of IoT development makes it critical that the sectors surveyed overhaul their approach to security to smooth the transition to becoming digital-first businesses.


Without the connectivity to transfer IoT data to the right place for analysis, it is useless. A common challenge for the sectors that we surveyed is the remoteness of their operations. Whether it is an opencast mine, an oil rig, or farm, each of them faces a challenge in getting the level of connectivity that they require.

A global skills shortage is also an obstacle.

The development and deployment of IoT is a new phenomenon spreading over every industry in every part of the world. Yet, the IT skills needed to innovate and manage the technology are in short supply. Shortages in the fields of data security, analytical data science and technical support are acute.

Collaboration is key if IoT projects are to be successful.

Developing new technology is complex and draws on many different types of skills and experience.

Organisations are working more collaboratively than ever, using external partners in multiple ways to plug the gaps to deliver IoT successfully.

Reliable network infrastructure providers that can operate anywhere in the world need to work closely with end-user businesses to make sure they understand their operational needs.

And everyone in this network needs to work in a continuous cycle, edging upwards to new heights of efficiency.

Innovative companies with sector specific knowledge need to draw in a network of specialist organisations and work with their customers to ignite innovative new ways of doing things better. And everyone in this network needs to work in a continuous cycle, edging upwards to new heights of efficiency.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us!

The future of the agritech sector

The future of the energy sector

The future of the mining sector

The future of the transport sector


In May 2017, Vanson Bourne, a specialist technology market research company, interviewed 500 respondents about their use of, attitude to, and predictions for IoT within their organisations.

These respondents were qualified by their involvement in their organisations’ IoT-based solutions, and by the size and type of organisations they work for.

All respondents have either decision-making, influencing, or executional responsibilities for IoT initiatives in their organisations. They represent a broad range of functions within their organisations, including business strategy, engineering, information technology, and operations.

Respondents were divided evenly between four target industries – agritech, energy, mining, and transport – and a fifth category that included a collection of industries. This ‘other’ category was included so that we could draw conclusions about IoT within the broader business community, and compare those to our target industries.

All the respondents work at organisations that employ at least 1,001 employees.

The geographical mix of respondents, which were sourced from throughout EMEA, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, provided us with a global and representative picture of the market.

With a broad array of organisations canvassed – some firmly rooted in previous industrial revolutions and some very much responding to recent technological developments – the findings offer a barometer on the ways that these sectors are changing, thanks in no small part to IoT.