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Enterprise adopters of Internet of Things want easier path

By Ryan Morris-Reade, Fri 12 Nov 2021

Enterprise adopters of the Internet of Things are ready to take an easier path, shows a new Oracle survey. 

Of the 800 IoT decision-makers polled, nearly two-thirds (64%) would opt for an off-the-shelf IoT solution over a custom-built offering, indicating a market shift in how enterprises buy IoT offerings. 

The survey found 75% of respondents want connectivity to be baked-in or bundled by the solution provider, and 70% want providers to include data and analytics tools as part of a comprehensive solution. 

Together, the findings show increasing demand for an easy route to IoT capabilities that circumvents customisation and provides faster time to value.

The survey, conducted with Transforma Insights, also indicates a sea change in how IoT providers design and deploy, reflecting increasing productisation and platformisation in this space. Findings suggest that IoT platform vendors have established themselves as the go-to organisations for IoT deployment, with 56% of respondents indicating they'd turn to one of these vendors as a top-three choice for lead suppliers, outpacing systems integrators (42%). 

"Custom solutions are introducing increasing levels of cost and complexity to the deployment of IoT solutions, with enterprises now seeking the fastest path to value in the form of readymade IoT solutions with connectivity and analytics capabilities built in," says Oracle Communications senior vice president and general manager, Networks, Andrew Morawski. 

"5G is critical to establishing this next generation of IoT, especially when deployed as truly cloud-native, leveraging the benefits of cloud technology."

According to market research from Transforma Insights, the total number of IoT connections will hit 28 billion in 2030, and the GSMA Mobile Economy report forecasts the IoT market will be worth more than $1 trillion by 2025.

The survey found commercial off-the-shelf products accelerate deployments. Deployment times for commercial solutions average 8.5 months, compared to an industry average of about 11 months, suggesting that the increasing use of standardised solutions is accelerating go-live times. Public safety/government (51%) and utilities (45%) have the most accelerated timelines, aiming for IoT deployment within six months.

According to the research, IoT projects are shifting from internal and non-core to critical and customer-facing. Almost 90% of projects were described by the respondents as 'fundamental' or 'very important' to their core business, and just over half of all projects are visible to their customers. 

This is reflected in cost being ranked as the most important aspect to manage. Deploying the solution ranked highest for utilities (61%) and public safety and government (60%).  Other industries, such as healthcare (58%) and enterprise IT (59%), ranked cost to operate the solution, highest.

Buyers seek complete solutions, the research reveals, with three-quarters (75%) of respondents want connectivity to be bundled in by their IoT solution provider and 25% are happy for it to not even be a visible component to them. 

For projects in the planning phase, that trend is even more pronounced, implying bundled IoT offerings will likely be more common in the near future.

Industry standards will also drive solution design. Almost all (85%) of respondents have some requirement (either regulatory or based on a desire to comply with standard operational practices) for compliance with standard data formats. This is especially key for industries like healthcare (71%) and utilities (61%), which reported strict requirements for regulatory compliance. Even in projects where standards are less rigid, such as enterprise IT, 45% still anticipate strict regulatory compliance requirements.

The research found an increased need for analytics built into IoT platforms, and IoT use cases based on simple data gathering are diminishing rapidly. Survey respondents said that over 80% of their projects involve bidirectional data flow rather than simple data gathering from device to application, which will result in a greater requirement for an analytics-driven control loop within the IoT solution. 
 
"What is clear from this survey is that IoT adopters have moved on from so-called low-hanging fruit to business-critical systems," says Transforma Insights founding partner, Matt Hatton. 

"As this maturing filters into the mass market, we will see an increasingly widespread transformational impact from enterprise IoT."

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