Reading IoT Trends from 2020 to Prepare for 2021

With 2020 coming to a close, it is a good time to assess your IoT projects and prepare for the upcoming year. To give you a feel for how industries across the globe reported using IoT this year, we turned to the IoT Signals report. Microsoft commissioned the Hypothesis Group to determine major themes in the IoT ecosystem across countries and industries. In this article, we will dive into trends across industries like retail, manufacturing, and healthcare, and highlight notable shifts in the way businesses are using IoT.

Explore interesting statistics, discover insights that could help your business grow and get started now with the help of Bsquare.

Is an IoT solution worth the time and money?

If you are considering implementing an IoT solution, you are understandably weighing the time and money it will take to create and maintain the system with the potential benefits. While it is a major decision, companies who adopt tend to find IoT becomes an invaluable part of their operation. In fact, of the over 3,000 participants in the IoT Signals report, “90% of decision-makers believe IoT is critical to their company’s success and 64% plan to use IoT more in the coming year.”

While the number of IoT adopters has been steadily growing over the years, the pivot towards remote work that came in 2020 has also influenced companies to re-evaluate their IoT usage. The study found that “1 in 3 organizations increasing investments in IoT due to COVID-19.”

The IoT Signals report notes that more and more companies are moving from the learn and trial phases to purchasing and using IoT solutions. “This data signals that companies are shifting from knowledge gathering into implementing what they’ve learned.”

Whether you’re building an IoT solution from scratch or are looking to expand your current system in the coming year, Bsquare is here to help. As an Authorized Microsoft distributor for over two decades, we have the expertise to help you find the best IoT solution for your organization. Not only do we help you find the right software, but we also offer service options to provide short or long-term support to your organization.

IoT solutions increase operational efficiency

While IoT usage will vary depending on your industry, the most popular overarching theme from the IoT Signals report was increased productivity, with “54% of companies surveyed saying that IoT has helped them increase operational efficiency.”

From inventory tracking in healthcare, to supply chain optimization in retail, to grid asset maintenance in energy, IoT solutions provided various industries with the ability to increase productivity and potentially decrease unnecessary spending. These are just a fraction of the popular use cases for IoT, with many more outlined in the full IoT Signals report.

Embedded security remains a priority

Another major aspect as companies consider IoT solutions is the concern around security. 47% of companies reported “safety and security” as the most important priority for their IoT system, which is understandable given the access to data and equipment that come with connected devices.

Businesses with a high security priority should consider something like Azure Sphere, a holistic security measure that helps cover your hardware, software and cloud. Ensuring your system is safe is a vital aspect of running an IoT solution. Microsoft’s long experience securing Windows and Xbox against hackers helped it identify the seven features required for a highly secure network-connected system, which it incorporated into the Azure Sphere ecosystem.

Common hurdles for IoT adoption

Despite IoT—and the many advantages it brings—becoming more ubiquitous in organizations across industries, there are still places that struggle to start or continue their IoT solution. In fact, “27% report that the solution is too complex or takes too long to implement.” Others worry they do not have the expertise to continue maintaining the systems, or the budget to get started.

At Bsquare, we hope to make the IoT adoption process, from getting started to ongoing support, as easy as possible. For example, if you are planning to buy a Windows IoT license, we can help you through the purchasing process, accelerate your embedded device development, and offer longer-term support options through our device management solution, SquareOne.

Overall, the IoT Signals report supports what we have already seen with our own customers: more people are successfully adopting IoT solutions and experiencing advantageous shifts in productivity and spending as IoT technology grows more accessible. With the new year coming, now is the perfect time to start planning for the future of IoT in your organization. For a more personalized assessment, contact our experts at Bsquare.