Security still top priority as more enterprises scale IoT solutions company-wide

A record 61 percent of enterprises worldwide are on the path to becoming “intelligent,” compared to only 49 percent in 2018.

scale IoT solutions

The Zebra Technologies Corporation global survey analyzes the extent to which companies connect the physical and digital worlds to drive innovation through real-time guidance, data-powered environments and collaborative mobile workflows.

Their “Intelligent Enterprise” Index scores are calculated using 11 criteria that include Internet of Things (IoT) vision, adoption, data management, intelligent analysis and more.

Based on these criteria and driven by an overwhelming pressure to improve the customer experience, retail organizations have gained the most momentum in the last 12 months, graduating from the bottom of the 2018 vertical Index rankings to nearly the top of the 2019 list, second only to Healthcare.

The number of companies defined as truly “intelligent enterprises” by achieving a score of 75 points or greater on the Index has also risen year over year. Seventeen (17) percent of organizations with at least 250 employees crossed this threshold in 2019 versus only eleven percent in 2018.

Interestingly, 37 percent of surveyed small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) with 50-249 employees scored 75 points or greater on the Index, indicating SMBs with an IoT vision are in many cases more “intelligent” than large enterprises.

Key findings

The pace of IoT adoption is picking up, leading to increasingly greater intelligence levels. The cumulative Intelligent Enterprise Index score continues to grow as more companies move from exploratory to deployment phases of their journeys, with the 2019 score topping out at 61.5 points.

This represents a nearly 6-point increase from 2018, driven largely by the increased “intelligence” gains of retail and transportation & logistics (T&L) organizations. It is also a +9-point gain from 2017, the first year the Index was conducted.

Continued growth in IoT solutions and other data-driven technology platform investments. In 2019, each respondent’s average enterprise spend was $6.4 million, representing a 39 percent year-over-year increase.

Eighty-six (86) percent of enterprises expect this number to grow in the next 1-2 years, with over half of respondents expecting to increase their investments by 21-50+ percent.

Intelligence-driven solution deployments have broadened quite significantly. Forty-six (46) percent of study respondents are currently implementing their IoT solutions on a company-wide level, an increase from 38 percent in 2018. Another 32 percent expect to soon move toward regional deployments.

scale IoT solutions

With security a top priority, enterprises are committing more resources to continuous data system monitoring. Sixty-two (62) percent of enterprises are now constantly monitoring their IoT security to ensure system integrity and data privacy.

That is a 4-percentage point gain year-over-year and a 13-percentage point increase from 2017. At that time, only 49 percent had a constant security monitoring protocol with 47 percent periodically monitoring their systems.

Enterprises are shifting to a single partner “intelligent” solution ecosystem. Nearly half (49 percent) of study respondents indicate they now rely on a single strategic partner to manage their entire “intelligence” solution, including components and services provided by third parties.

Surveyed SMBs score higher on the Index than large companies (64.5 points vs 61.5 points). This higher score is based on findings such as SMB respondents indicating their enterprises are more likely to have an IoT vision and are executing on the plan (69 percent vs 62 percent).

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Security still top priority as more enterprises scale IoT solutions company-wide