Internet of Things goes mainstream

The latest international Internet of Things Barometer Report released by Vodafone suggests IoT innovation has hit the mainstream.

The Barometer is based on independent research conducted with about 1100 global decision-makers to give insight into the reality of enterprise IoT use today.

The report supports an earlier IDC report which predicted there would be about 30 billion connected things globally by 2020 – a $3 trillion global market opportunity.

IoT is the concept of connecting any device with an electronic function to the internet. This includes anything from mobile phones and coffee machines to lamps and headphones.

Global examples of IoT applications include driverless cars, smart metering for gas and power and remote monitoring for homes and industry.                                                        

Vodafone New Zealand IoT manager Scott Pollard says New Zealand companies investing in IoT innovation are facing big global market opportunities.

“Three-quarters of the companies surveyed in the 2016 IoT Barometer report now recognised IoT is a new industrial revolution that will change how people work and live forever.”

The report found 89 percent of companies investing in IoT have increased their budgets over the last 12 months and IoT investment now accounts for 24 percent of the average IT budget – on par with cloud computing or data analytics.

It also found 63 percent of IoT adopters surveyed are seeing significant returns on their investment, up from 59 percent in last year’s report.

Ubco Bikes chief executive Timothy Allen and Minister of Communications Amy Adams.

New Zealand technology company Blackhawk Tracking has seen first-hand the potential of IoT investment.

The company tracks all-terrain vehicles and off-highway equipment – data from which is used to assist driver mentoring, vehicle use and security. It has taken advantage of IoT capability to ensure driver safety for farmers in remote locations. If a driver flips on a quad bike, an SOS is automatically sent over the cellular network to assist emergency services.

Executive chairman Keith Oliver says Blackhawk Tracking has fielded interest from a range of overseas businesses, including major ski resorts and value-add-resellers.

“Because our system incorporates Vodafone’s global IoT SIM manufacture, we have been able to progress international market opportunities rapidly because our technology platform is compatible with overseas cellular networks.”

Pollard says Vodafone will continue to invest in its network to support the predicted explosion of IoT applications in the next five years and beyond.

“We look forward to collaborating with more companies like Blackhawk to support them to think big and help their companies succeed at both the local and the global level,” he says.