How are midsize businesses handling their data?
2020 caused dramatic changes to the ways organisations had to work, and now midsize businesses across industries are laying down the foundations to help them reach interconnectivity. Undergoing digital transformations, further focus on collaborations with external partners, data analytics, and purpose-driven processes are all being targeted and should benefit them in the long term.
Responding to disruption and positioning for future growth depends on having the information needed to make strategic decisions for all parts of the business. Achieving this level of visibility requires information. A report carried out by Oxford Economics and SAP found that many say they have access to data they need, employee productivity data (59%) and risk reduction data (57%), but it found that many midsize businesses struggle with analytics to interpret the data.
Few have sufficient resources to support analytics-based decision-making, with just 39% saying they have enough of this type of data. This may explain why few (just 32%) are acting on the insights they gain from data analysis. Growing consumer concerns over the use of personal data may stall future analysis capabilities unless midsize businesses ensure security, privacy, and ethical use of information as they design their data strategies.
How are businesses collecting their data?
A question asked in the research was - To what extent do your data-sharing practices improve your ability to do the following? “To a great extent” and “To a transformative extent” responses, combined were:
- Improve customer/citizen experiences - 45%
- Improve employee experiences - 45%
- Create new products/services - 45%
- Connect with customers/citizens - 43%
- Fill skill gaps - 41%
Ultimately, making these changes around data collection and analysis will require a strong IT infrastructure, an area where many midsize businesses lag their larger competitors. Other research programs from Oxford Economics show that midsize businesses are further behind in building up their emerging technologies.
Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said they are effectively modernising their IT systems, and many focusing investments on analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML).
Automation is another strategic priority, cited by over half of midsize businesses executives as critical for customer service improvements, business management, and operations. 45% say they expect automation will increase process efficiency by reducing error, risk, and cost, and 43% expect an increase in productivity through intelligent process automation.
When asked which of the following technologies has your organisation as a whole prioritised investment over the past three years? Respondents could select all that apply.
- Analytics/ Predictive analytics - 38%
- IoT - 37%
- AI - 23%
- Chatbots - 20%
- Machine learning (ML) - 15%
The survey showed that fixing problems can be broken down into three main areas: business processes, data analytics, and talent and workforce strategies. While midsize organisations have made progress in each of these areas over the past year, the research shows that there’s still lots of opportunity for improvement
IoT market expected to grow due to increase in IoT use cases
An increase in the internet of things use cases is expected to drive the IoT service market, according to the IoT Services Global Market Report 2021: COVID-10 Growth and Change to 2030.
IoT has found its use in many areas over the years. It can be used in manufacturing, farming, smart cities, transportation and in many other industries and fields.
Due to the fact it can be utilised in many industries, there is an increased need for IoT services and applications. IoT services that provide support by delivering services such as consulting, data management, network management and security services, are in much higher demand.
The impact of COVID-19 on the IoT services market
According to the report, the global IoT services market is expected to grow from $139.24 billion in 2020 to $162.39 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6%.
In the coming years, the IoT managed services market size is expected to reach $381.16 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 24%.
This growth lends itself to companies resuming operations and adapting to the new normal as we emerge and recover from the pandemic.
Previously, COVID-19 restrictions led to restrictive containment measures, remote working and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges.
IoT use cases driving growth
The IoT services market consists of the sales of IoT services and their related products. IoT services are delivered by the IoT services providers. These providers provide consulting, security and analytics services as per the requirements of the business.
Major players in the IoT services industry are Cisco Systems, Cognizant, Google, Infosys and Tieto Corporation, to name a few.
An increase in IoT use cases is expected to drive the IoT service market; this is where IoT can be used to automate processes and increase productivity. As it has found many uses cases over the years, this increases the demand for IoT services and this is expected to drive growth.
Enhancing deployment workloads with edge or cloud computing
Despite the expected growth, low enterprise adoption is expected to hinder the IoT services market. Although IoT has its use in many industries, due to factors such as low awareness, enterprise adoption is low, the report states.
Only 29% of enterprises have adopted IoT solutions according to the Omida data survey.
Edge or cloud computing however is enhancing the deployment workload on IoT devices, according to the report. This solution facilitates data processing and data storage in the cloud.
Microsoft released its Azure IoT Edge recently. This fully managed service is built on Azure IoT Hub. By moving certain workloads to the edge of the network, businesses that utilise Microsoft’s IoT platform spend less time communicating with the cloud, react more quickly to local changes and operate reliably in extended offline periods.
The IoT Services Global Market Report 2021: COVID-19 Growth and Change to 2030 is one of a series of new reports from The Business Research Company that provides an IoT services market overview