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Internet of Things grows sharply, report finds


Global adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to rise according to a new report from Vodafone which reveals that the number of large scale IoT projects has doubled in the last year.

The company’s fifth annual IoT Barometer Report found that the percentage of companies with more than 50,000 connected devices active has increased by 100% in the last 12 months.

In addition 84% of IoT adopters surveyed said that their use of IoT has grown in the last year, while 51% of adopters believe that the technology is increasing revenues or opening up new revenue streams. Two thirds of all companies agree that digital transformation is impossible without IoT.

“Over the five years of this report we have seen the number of companies that have adopted IoT double, and projects have grown from small pilots to global rollouts of tens of thousands of connected devices,” commented Vodafone director of IoT Erik Brenneis.

“IoT is clearly here to stay and the future looks exciting as 79% of adopters are saying that it will have an enormous impact on the whole economy in the next five years. I believe we can now say that IoT has come of age and is proving itself across all industries and geographies.”

Security in IoT is still the biggest barrier for organisations regarding deployment, the report indicates. However, in companies with 10,000 or more connected devices in operation only 7% say security is their top worry.

Organisations are taking more steps to tackle security concerns including an increase in security training for existing staff, working with specialist security providers and recruiting more IT security specialists, the report says.

Meanwhile, as the scale of IoT projects increases, the report also notes a rise in connectivity requirements. Companies are looking to use a mix of technologies from fixed line to low power wide area networks (LP-WAN) depending on the application.

Typically, large scale projects use four different connectivity options with mobile and Wi-Fi the two most popular. There is increasing interest in newer technologies such as Narrowband IoT, with 28% of all companies now considering this and other LP-WAN options, for new projects.