Organizations around the world are placing big bets on the Internet of Things (IoT), including platforms, hardware, and applications. According to an IDC report, global spending on IoT reached $700 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach 1.3 trillion by 2020. However, turning investment into a positive return is the critical question for executives leading IoT transformation. Several challenges – lack of clear business case, security concerns, constrained analytical capabilities and uncertainty about IoT standards and protocols – are limiting organizational ability to realize value from their IoT investments.

For this research, we surveyed senior executives from over 300 organizations across the globe who are already implementing IoT initiatives. We also analyzed more than 300 cross-sector, real-life IoT uses cases used for internal operations spanning industrial manufacturing, retail, consumer products, energy & utilities, automotive and telecommunications, to identify which ones have the greatest impact. IoT use cases for new service identification and connected products do not fall within the scope of this research. Our goal is to understand:

  1. where organizations are moving to large-scale IoT adoption to optimize operations and the reasons why others get stuck at the pilot stage,
  2. how organizations can identify and prioritize the most valuable use cases and give more focus to their implementation efforts,
  3. and, the essential steps to get started with an IoT in operations strategy.