Number of intelligent APAC enterprises jumps tenfold in 2018

Interest in the IoT is running high (Image Art24hr / iStockPhoto)
Companies in Asia-Pacific are leveraging the IoT to become intelligent enterprises (Image Art24hr / iStockPhoto)

The number of companies globally defined as an “intelligent enterprise” doubled to 10% in 2018, according to the results of Zebra Technologies Corporation's second annual “Intelligent Enterprise Index.”

The Index is a global survey that measures where companies are on the journey to becoming an enterprise that connects the physical and digital worlds to drive innovation through real-time guidance, data-powered environments and collaborative mobile workflows, leveraging the internet of things (IoT).

The companies defined as a truly intelligent enterprise scored more than 75 points on the overall index, based on criteria including IoT adoption and deployment strategies, the sharing of IoT information with employees and monitoring of IoT security.

In Asia-Pacific, there was a spike in the number of companies that were rated as truly “intelligent” – moving up 20 percentage points to 22% this year. The average Asia-Pacific score increased from 49 points in 2017 to 63 points in 2018, underscoring the rapid adoption of Io) solutions in the region.

“As new technologies continue to transform the front line of business, real-time data-driven signals at the edge of operations are empowering front-line workers with the right information to optimize actions and outcomes,” Zebra Technologies CTO Tom Bianculli said.

“Based on our second annual Index, it’s clear that more companies acknowledge the value of leveraging IoT strategies, and they will continue to propel adoption and investment in the future.”

IoT investment is up, and resistance to adoption is down

The Index reveals for those companies surveyed, their average annual spend on IoT is up 4% year-over-year globally, while it rose to 12% in Asia-Pacific. And 86% of the companies surveyed globally expect that number to increase in the next 1-2 years, with nearly half anticipating investment growth of 11-20%.

As employees become more receptive to new technologies, the number of companies that expect resistance to their IoT plans moving forward has dropped from 75% in 2017 to 64% this year.

The study also showed that 52%% of respondents globally say information from their IoT solutions is shared with employees in real or near-real time. This is up 37% from last year’s Index, underscoring the increased need for collaborative mobile workflows. Asia-Pacific companies are more advanced in this area, with 58% of companies sharing data with employees in such frequency. 

In addition, two-thirds of those surveyed globally have established a plan on how to organize and analyze their data. This is up 10% from last year. Real-time analytics (66%) and security (63%) were reported as the most prevalent elements of a company’s data management plan.

Empowering the front-line

Notably, organizations are empowering their front-line with actionable data as 32% of the respondents say they provide insights to the front-line workers. This reflects the need for innovations, technologies and real-time data at the edge of the enterprise. In Asia-Pacific, this stands at 41%, up 7 percentage points from last year’s index.

Companies are taking a more proactive, thorough approach when it comes to employing security standards within their IoT solutions. The Index revealed an 18 percentage point increase in the number of companies that are constantly – versus routinely – monitoring their IoT security to ensure privacy and integrity. In Asia-Pacific, the increase was 20 percentage points from a year ago.

Forty% of the companies surveyed globally report using a strategic partner to manage their entire IoT solution, up from 21% from 2017. This was higher in Asia-Pacific at 54%.

The framework of an Intelligent Enterprise is based on technology solutions that integrate cloud computing, mobility, and the IoT to automatically “sense” information from enterprise assets, Bianculli said.

Operational data from these assets, including status, location, utilization, or preferences, is then analyzed to provide actionable insights, which can then be mobilized to the right person at the right time, so they can be acted upon to drive better, more-timely decisions by users anywhere, at any time.

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