Report Summary

The Internet of Things business index: A quiet revolution gathers pace is an Economist Intelligence Unit report, sponsored by ARM. It is intended to gauge the current and future use of the Internet of Things by the global business community.

The inaugural IoT business index is based on a survey of 779 executives from around the world, conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit in June 2013. Survey respondents were asked to indicate the extent to which their companies currently make use of the IoT in their external products and services, and separately in their internal operations and processes (see Research Methodology for a full explanation).

The index is on a scale of 1 to 10. The scale represents five “stages” of IoT use: the highest or most advanced stage (a score of 9 or 10) equates to extensive use of the IoT, whereas the lowest stage (a score of 1 or 2) equates to non-existent (or virtually non-existent) use of the IoT. A score that lies between these stages indicates that businesses are transitioning from one stage to another.

At present, businesses worldwide are mainly in the research stage (at point 4 on a scale of 1 to 10), and they are slightly more likely to be using the IoT for internal operations and processes than in external products or services. By region, European businesses are fractionally out in front. Meanwhile, manufacturing leads the way among industries, with financial services bringing up the rear. 

Why read this report

  • Three-quarters of companies (75%) are either actively exploring the IoT or already using it
  • Companies worldwide are currently in the research stage of the IoT business index (at point 4 on a scale of 1 to 10)
  • The majority opinion (61%) among senior executives is that companies slow to integrate the IoT into their business will fall behind the competition
  • Since 2012 only around 30% of organisations have seen double-digit growth in IoT investment
  • Three years from now, almost all senior executives (96%) expect their business to be using the IoT in some respect
The amount of patent applications is steadily growing and this should be an indicator of the importance of the topic to Honda. Filip Sergeys, head of ITS government relations and regulations, Honda Motor Europe

Contributors

Published:October 29th 2013

Author
Clint Witchalls
Editor
James Chambers
Interviewed for this report:

The EIU conducted a series of in-depth interviews with the following senior executives and experts (listed alphabetically by organisation):

  • Kevin Ashton, general manager, cleantech division, Belkin
  • Stefan Ferber, director for communities and partner networks for the Internet of Things and services, Bosch Software Innovations
  • John Davies, chief researcher, corporate ICT research practice, BT
  • Liz Brandt, CEO, Ctrl-Shift
  • Elgar Fleisch, deputy dean, ETH ZĂĽrich
  • William Ruh, vice-president and corporate officer, global software headquarters, GE
  • Filip Sergeys, head of ITS government relations and regulations, Honda Motor Europe
  • Honbo Zhou, board director, Qingdao Haier
  • David Bott, director of innovation programmes, Technology Strategy Board

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