UK businesses of all sizes say Internet of Things ‘vital for success’

September 20, 2018

A new report from Vodafone highlights that more than half of business leaders in the UK (58%) believe it is essential to embrace Internet of Things (IoT) technology to be successful. Vodafone’s Digital, Ready?  report surveyed 2,000 business leaders, from large enterprises through to sole traders, and reveals that whatever the size of organisation, IoT is seen as a key success driver.

For businesses up to 49 employees, 41% believe IoT is vital for success; this rises to 67% across large enterprises (2,500+ employees). 64% of all respondents believe IoT will improve their business operations, and 62% believe that every business will benefit from the technology.

Looking in more detail at IoT: 31% of all organisations intend to adopt IoT in the next two years, including a quarter of businesses with 1-49 employees; 39% of businesses with 50-250 employees; and 30% of large enterprises.

Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK, commented “IoT can drive innovation and value within an organisation, helping it to achieve operational efficiencies, build more valuable relationships with its customers and facilitate entirely new business models. I believe it offers all organisations a huge opportunity to thrive in this digital age – and they must seize this opportunity now. I’m really encouraged that businesses recognise the role IoT can play; and as global leader in IoT, consider it our role to bring the opportunities to life. There’s no doubt we will see many more applications in the months and years to come.”

However, a lack of understanding could still stifle its potential. 41% of business leaders are concerned that IoT is too complex for their business; and 36% admit they do not understand it – an admission spread evenly across organisations of all sizes.

The findings revealed today are part of a wider report exploring the digital journey being undertaken by UK organisations. It reveals that 79% of businesses see digital transformation as a strategic priority, with key benefits including improving efficiency (57%), improving customer experience (51%) and remaining competitive (49%). To drive this digital agenda forward, 82% of businesses see investing in new technology as a priority.

Other technologies that organisations are planning to adopt in the next two years include Real-time analytics (36%), unified communications (34%), artificial intelligence (AI) (28%) and blockchain (30%).

Vodafone is the global leader in managed IoT connections with 74 million connections and an international network and services platform supporting a wide range of business-critical applications.



Notes to editors:

The Vodafone Digital, Ready? report was previewed at the Future Ready event on 20th September 2018 and will be launched in full in October.


Figure 1:

Q: Do you currently use any of these technologies in your organisation/business? (Use now/Plan to use in the next two years/no plans to adopt

  Plans to use in the next 2 years (%) Use now (%) No plans (%)   Plans to use in the next two years (%) by business size
All business sizes  1-50 50-250 250-2500  2500+
Real time analytics 36 39 25 28 42  41  32
UC 34 34 31 23 41  35 36
IOT 31 36 34 25 38  30  30
Big Data 30 37 33 26 34  34  30
Location based services 30 40 30 24 36  31  29
Blockchain 30 20 49 21 36  35  31
Biometrics 29 21 50 18 36 34 32
AI 28 21 51 18 33 36 34
Voice recognition 28 27 45 20 37 33 25
Augmented reality 28 17 55 18 36  36  29
Virtual reality 25 18 57 15 31  32  29
3D printing 24 23 53 17 32  27  22
Robotics 24 19 57 15 28  28  33
Cloud 21 63 15 20 26  19  20


Research was conducted by Circle Research in August 2018. All 2001 respondents were involved in strategy and/or technology decision making at their organisation and reached through an online quantitative survey.

Breakdown of respondents:

The 437 Public Sector and 1504 Private Sector decision makers surveyed came from across the UK: East England (159), East Midlands (165), London (321), North East & Yorkshire (249), North West (263), Northern Ireland (48), Scotland (143), South East (274), South West (132), Wales (92), and West Midlands (155). They were chosen from 23 industries ranging in organisational size from sole traders to large enterprises.



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