Technology & Innovation

The IoT Business Index 2020: a step change in adoption

February 19, 2020


February 19, 2020


The latest edition of the IoT Business Index, which has tracked business use of the IoT since 2013, identifies a step forward in adoption, especially in internal operations. 

Back in 2013, The Economist Intelligence Unit launched the inaugural Internet of Things (IoT) Business Index to measure commercial adoption of the then-emerging technology. Unsurprisingly, companies were in the nascent stages of IoT integration at that time. More surprising was the first follow-up study in 2017: despite considerable discussion, business adoption of the IoT had advanced only marginally in the intervening years.

The index, which is based on a global and cross-industry executive survey, is now in its third edition, providing a rare longitudinal measure of IoT implementation. This edition shows that between 2017 and 2020, a step change in IoT adoption took place.

This report, which is sponsored by Arm, examines the results of the IoT Business Index survey and draws on in-depth interviews with executives who have led or advised on IoT initiatives within companies or founded IoT-based businesses.

This report examines the results of our survey of 825 business executives, conducted in late 2019. Survey respondents were drawn from Europe (30%), North America (30%), Asia-Pacific (30%) and the rest of the world (10%) and from the following industries: Seventy- five percent of respondents work within the following industries: financial services; manufacturing; healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology; information technology; energy and natural resources; construction and real estate; automotive; infrastructure; agriculture/ food; and outsourced facilities management. Half were drawn from companies with annual revenue of more than US$500m and half from smaller companies. 

We interviewed the following executives for the report (listed alphabetically by organisation name):

  • Nancy Hartsoch, co-founder and CEO, AquaSeca

  • Dr Frank Maddux, global chief medical officer and member of the management board, Fresenius Medical Care

  • Nathalie Wright, group digital and IT transformation director, Rexel

  • Luke D’Arcy, co-founder, Sensize

  • Regu Ayyaswamy, global head of IoT and engineering services, TCS

We would like to thank all interviewees and survey respondents for their time and insight.

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