Zebra Technologies global study shows Internet of Things solutions are ripe for adoption

Zebra Technologies Corporation has issued survey results that show the Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer a concept, but a reality that is improving the operations of global enterprises. Companies across multiple industries are already using Internet of Things technologies to track and manage physical assets, improve the customer experience, enhance supply chain visibility and more. The global commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting "Building Value from Visibility: 2012 Enterprise Internet of Things Adoption Outlook" showed the following results:

  • There is a positive perception of the term Internet of Things, and 85 percent of respondents agree with a common definition provided of what IoT solutions are.
  • Momentum appears strong, as 15 percent of surveyed organisations across the globe already have an Internet of Things solution in place, 53 percent plan to implement one within the next 24 months, and another 14 percent in the next two to five years.
    • In looking at adoption by industry, 21 percent of transportation and logistics respondents noted they already have Internet of Things solutions in place. Only three percent of healthcare organisations have them in place.
  • Around the globe, the majority of IT decision-makers are turning to Internet of Things solutions to provide more visibility in the supply chain and improve customer interactions.

"Organisations are struggling to do more with less, to be more productive. They actively seek not only smarter ways to track and manage assets, but also insights that can drive new, breakthrough ideas for their organisation," said Anders Gustafsson, CEO, Zebra Technologies. "At Zebra, we believe every organisation has an opportunity to use IoT technologies to illuminate operational events occurring throughout their value chain so they can act upon them to make smarter decisions and inspire innovation."

Nearly 15 years ago, RFID technology pioneer Kevin Ashton used the term Internet of Things. He believed that the Internet of Things had the potential to change the world "if we had computers that knew everything there was to know about things" – where is it, how cold is it, what condition is it in. While we are still in the early stages of broad IoT implementation, enterprises positively view a more interconnected world, with some already seeing the benefits, such as retailers employing item-level tracking to streamline inventory management and reduce costs. As organisations continue to build on barcode and active RFID technologies with real-time locating systems, Internet of Things has the potential to generate data never before possible, spurring new insights, ideas and innovation.

Based on the definition shared in the survey, Internet of Things solutions are smart interconnected devices that provide more visibility into the organisation's operational events. The study shows that many organisations are using technologies such as barcoding, RFID and GPS to gain greater visibility into the location, condition, timing and accuracy of the events occurring in their value chains. These key technologies enable the Internet of Things.

"A new generation of solutions, supported by the power of the Internet of Things, is enabling more effective deployment and management of assets including inventories. By connecting the physical to the digital, we can generate insights and business intelligence that drive breakthrough ideas in organisations and in the world," said Gustafsson. "We envision making even bigger strides in addressing business challenges, such as: patient identification, which enables healthcare providers access to tracking technologies that help protect patients from medical errors and support electronic health records; inventory management, in which retailers use technologies to improve inventory tracking and enhance the shopper experience; and food traceability where food suppliers and distributors have access to electronic traceability to capture information in the event of a major food recall."

According to the study, a variety of forces are aligning to drive increased enterprise demand for Internet of Things solutions, including declining device costs and widely deployed IP networks. While supply chain visibility and asset tracking are the top issues organisations hope to address with these solutions, the top benefits for surveyed EMEA enterprises include loss prevention, cost efficiencies and supply chain. For more information on the study: http://www.zebra.com/content/dam/zebra/white-papers/en-us/zebra-iot-report-en-us.pdf

About the Study

"Building Value from Visibility: 2012 Enterprise Internet of Things Adoption Outlook" is a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Zebra Technologies. The survey was made to gain a greater understanding of plans of global enterprise IT decision-makers to implement Internet of Things solutions as well as the perceived benefits and challenges associated with IoT deployments. Forrester conducted primary research through online surveys of IT executives at 646 global enterprises representing primary operations in 11 countries in industries including manufacturing, healthcare, oil/gas/petroleum, retail, hospitality, transportation and logistics, and government in the first half of 2012. These decision makers participate in or are aware of their corporate initiatives and plans related to implementing Internet of Things solutions and applications. Survey participants were presented with the following definition of the Internet of Things: Smart interconnected devices that businesses use to get more visibility into the identification, location and condition of products, assets, transactions or people to drive more effective, timely business decisions or to improve customer interactions.


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