Retail Sector Most ‘Intelligent’ Re Pace of IoT Adoption

Retail Sector Most ‘Intelligent’ Re Pace of IoT Adoption

October 15, 2019

Zebra Technologies Global Futurist Drew Ehlers says as more enterprises scale IoT solutions in 2019, the number of companies defined as ‘intelligent’ on its latest Intelligent Enterprise Index shows a year-on-year increase; with SMBs ranking ‘more intelligent’ than larger enterprises.

 Zebra Technologies Corporation announces results from its third annual Intelligent Enterprise Index which indicates a record 61 percent of enterprises worldwide are on the path to becoming “intelligent,” compared to only 49 percent in 2018.

This 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 11 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.

According to Zebra Technologies Global Futurist Drew Ehlers, there is an increased urgency to improve operational efficiencies through actionable data.

“When we launched the Intelligent Enterprise Index three years ago, many enterprises were trying to understand where and how IoT solutions could be best applied within their unique business environments. We now see more urgency to improve operational visibility and facilitate the delivery of actionable intelligence all the way to the edge of the enterprise. I believe that is why enterprises are now demonstrating a much greater commitment to executing their IoT plans and why we’ll likely see a surge in investments over the next few years,” says Ehlers.

Commenting on the key index findings, Zebra Technologies Regional Director SE Asia Fang-How Lim says the edge of enterprise is becoming increasingly connected, thanks to the continued adoption of mobility and IoT.

“Inevitably, this unprecedented, growing level of connectivity has generated large amounts of actionable data that that businesses can leverage on to improve their performance and workflows. Zebra’s Savanna is a revolutionary data intelligence platform that integrates IoT end-point connectivity, configuration management, data transport, data storage, analytics, and machine learning into a single platform, converting raw data into actionable insights,” says Fang-How.

The pace of IoT adoption is picking up 

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. Further, 74 percent of APAC organizations have an IOT vision with plans to execute it, of which 55 percent have already implemented while up to 43 percent are planning to implement it within the next 1-3 years.

Continued growth in IoT and other data-driven tech platform investments

In 2019, the average global enterprise spend was  USD 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. Up to 92 percent of APAC organizations expect their investments in IOT and mobility to increase over the next 1-2 years.

Intelligence-driven solution deployments have broadened 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.

Security remains a top priority

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.

Up to 70 percent of APAC organizations are constantly monitoring their IOT security to ensure that their system integrity and privacy are not compromised.

Enterprises are shifting to single partner 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

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).

(Ed. Zebra claims the survey was fielded from 12 August – 18 September 2019 across healthcare, manufacturing, retail and transportation and logistics industries. IT decision makers (950) from nine countries were interviewed, including the U.S., U.K./Great Britain, France, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, and Japan. Each organization required at least 250 employees and an annual revenue of USD 5 million. The data captured from SMBs focused on companies having 50-249 employees. Zebra says the 11 criteria were identified by executives, industry experts and policymakers across different industries at the 2016 Strategic Innovation Symposium: The Intelligent Enterprise, hosted by Zebra in collaboration with the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard TECH.)

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