In Australia, The Internet of Things (IoT) is now prioritised as the second biggest digital transformation initiative after cloud, presenting the next big opportunity for the channel.
Recent research from 2016 Global IoT Decision Maker Survey by IDC has revealed 38 per cent of Australian businesses have launched IoT solutions and an additional 46 per cent are looking to deploy IoT offerings in the next 12 months.
“In Australia, the line of business and the C-Suite are driving the IoT direction,” said IDC associate vice president of IoT and telecoms for APeJ, Hugh Ujhazy.
Results showed that 60 per cent of respondents deem IoT as strategic to their business as a mean "to compete more effectively."
Ujhazy explained how pressure has increased Australian businesses internally, as IT leaders work within budget constraints to fulfil technology requests for effective business outcomes from the C-suite.
"Setting strategies, finding budgets, and supporting IoT solutions have contributed to an ongoing tussle between line of business executives and CIOs. IT departments remain significant contributors but the business outcomes are overwhelming the technology choices,” he added.
As a result, Ujhazy said companies can expect a strengthening alignment between IT and business as projects are jointly owned and driven by IT departments that work directly alongside functional departments - the main controllers of the majority of IoT budgets.
For MOQdigital chief executive, Nicki Page, the analyst firm’s insights ring true.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner creating a new approach to building site safety, by delivering IoT solutions to reduce work-related illness and accidents, Paige explained to ARN how the research reflects the market in her experience heading up MOQdigital.
“The innovation we are seeing coming from IoT solutions is incredibly exciting but can quickly become a costly exercise if not planned carefully with the correct stakeholder commitment from the business.”
“The biggest risk is burning budget by not planning and executing an IoT strategy to drive business outcomes. There is so much market hype that I believe some partners are more confused than ever before.”
Survey results also revealed 72 per cent of the Australian respondents feel that IoT is ‘extremely important’ to drive the strategic agenda of a company, specifically in regards to improving productivity, reducing costs and fostering internal decision-making.
At this stage of IoT market maturity in Australia, the research thus highlights an internal and operational focus by organisations over the short term as opposed to external, customer-facing benefits.
“IoT is enabling companies to make more informed decisions using real-time data analytics from their devices, sensors or “things” which is allowing businesses to respond in ways we have never seen before,” Paige explained.
“Ultimately, IoT is allowing us to reinvent business processes and improve productivity in new ways. However, only companies that are measuring their business by extracting and analysing their valuable data, are the ones that are able to improve it. With any data strategy you need to understand what you’re trying to achieve and what you’ll do with that information once you have it.
“My advice is to start small and understand what value you are driving for the customer on their digital transformation journey. Understand what problem you are solving.”