Sam George, Corporate Vice President, Azure IoT
When we were asked to discuss our vision for the future of IoT on Business Reporter, we were excited to share everything we’ve just learned from our annual IoT Signals report, covering the trends, challenges and focus areas of more than 3,000 business, technical and developer decision makers from around the world.
For businesses of all sizes, 2020 has proven challenging to navigate in the face of unpredictable changes across all industries. However, for many business decision-makers it has actually accelerated their work towards a connected and secured future. If your business is already harnessing IoT, you likely believe it is critical to your long-term success. You are not alone. We learned from IoT Signals edition two that 90 per cent of decision makers now believe IoT is critical to their company’s success, up from 88 per cent just last year.
On our daily Microsoft Teams calls with customers and partners, we often say that it feels like a year’s worth of digital transformation is happening each and every month in 2020. For IoT, that transformation is providing near real-time visibility into physical assets and environments, enabling increased efficiency, reduced downtime, and keeping employees safer as they return to physical workplaces. One of the top reasons for IoT adoption is safety and security, with 47 per cent of businesses citing it as a main focus for the technology, on par with optimising operations.
When we look ahead to the next two years, two out of three organisations are planning to increase their use of IoT to solve pressing business challenges – from connecting and securing physical environments and returning to highly productive workplaces to enabling real-time visibility into supply chains, and thousands of other scenarios. We’ve also seen a shift in companies moving from simply connecting assets in silos to connecting entire environments – the factories, supply chains, distribution network and partner networks for unparalleled visibility to drive operational efficiencies. This shift from connected assets to connected environments is the defining theme of our vision for the future, and the way companies will gain the most benefit from their value chain.
We seek to uncover the current and future trends of IoT to better serve our partners and customers around the world to develop their own IoT strategies. We hope you use this knowledge, and connections to thousands of global partners, to step into your future. Our mission is to be the IoT partner you’ll choose again, and to make the benefits of IoT accessible to every business, large or small.