Spending on IoT set to rise in Europe, but do companies have the right strategies in place to achieve their goals?
Research published this week has found that more than half (53 percent) of companies based in Western Europe lack a solid strategy to turn their IoT goals into reality, according to Zebra Technologies’ Intelligent Enterprise Index, which surveyed over 900 IT decision makers worldwide about IoT vision, investment and strategies.
According to Zebra, this suggests that Europe is lagging behind the rest of the world, where it found that only 39 percent said they lack a solid IoT strategy.
The good news from the study, however, is that IoT is evolving quickly in Europe, with 25 percent of companies planning to invest $5m (£3.4m) or more in connected technologies.
On top of this, 66 percent of respondents said they have plans to increase that investment within two years and 83 percent believe that their deployments are more than half complete.
Three quarters (74 percent) of respondents expect that their IoT deployments will be completed by the summer of 2019.
There seems to be a big issue, however, around planning. Instead, businesses seem to be focusing more on the opportunities and benefits that IoT presents, and less drawing up rock-solid implementation plans to help them achieve their goals.
For example, around a third of European firms said they have no plans to address the cultural changes posed by IoT. Six out of ten, meanwhile, don’t have plans to address internal resistance to adopting IoT solutions, which could potentially throw a further spanner into the works.
Although 65 percent of European firms are actively educating their staff about IoT technologies, only 18 per cent are offering them incentives in a bid to encourage their use.
European firms lack proactive security methods, too, with almost every respondent (98 percent) saying they regularly monitor IoT security, but almost half admitting they rely on limited, reactive measures.
Real-time intelligence boom
That said, real-time analytics is creating new opportunities and a sense of hope for firms in Europe. Over three-quarters (79 percent) of respondents said this technology is extremely important, and 59 percent aim to use IoT data to increase revenues.
“The ability to sense, analyze and act in real-time on insights generated by IoT technology is one the of the most significant advantages businesses can claim in an increasingly competitive, global market,” said Richard Hudson, vice president and general manager for EMEA at Zebra.
“Our research shows how enthusiastic European businesses are to gather actionable insights and become what we call ‘Intelligent Enterprises’.”
Enthusiasm is great, of course – but many business leaders could find that their goals out of reach without a clear strategy for achieving them.