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How did IoT investments fare during COVID-19?

Eseye surveyed U.S. and U.K. enterprise decision makers on the state of IoT during the coronavirus pandemic?

A good deal of the commentary around the acceleration of IoT and other technology solutions during COVID-19 is somewhat anecdotal and based on the perspectives of individuals serving in varying capacities at firms that sell technology.

U.K.-based Eseye, which specializes in cellular IoT, including hardware and consultancy services, worked to quantify it by engaging research house Opinion matters to survey 500 senior decision makers in the U.S. and U.K. The survey covers five verticals: healthcare and medical devices, supply chain and logistics, manufacturing, electric vehicle charging and smart grid, and smart vending.

While the results are somewhat mixed in terms of how COVID-19 impacted IoT investments, it’s clear that the pandemic indeed did have a marked impact. 

As reported by Eseye in its “2021 State of IoT Adoption Report,”

  • 98% of survey respondents said COVID-19 had an impact on IoT plans
    • 27% said IoT plans accelerated during the pandemic
    • 31% said their investment in the area has increased
    • 77% said “their IoT project was at best only somewhat successful in meeting expectations and realising benefits”

Despite the mixed bag related to IoT during coronavirus, respondents seemed to still have a favorable perspective on IoT as a driver of organizational change. From the report: 

  • 86% of the 500 people survey “said IoT is a priority for their business”
  • 49% plan more IoT projects in the next two to three years
  • 89% plan to increase budgets for IoT-type projects

Among the top challenges to IoT implementations identified in the Eyese report were security, connectivity, device onboarding, testing, certification, and variations in cellular connectivity from country to country.

Eyes CEO Nick Earle, noting “a number of false starts” around the scale of IoT adoption, said, “COVID-19 has accelerated IoT trends that were already underway as large enterprises move from experimenting to understanding how to deploy IoT; our research certainly found that the larger the project, the faster the acceleration as organizations embrace IoT.”

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