Want a business edge? Share IoT data with your employees


Enterprises will continue to invest heavily in Internet of Things (IoT) technology in 2019 and beyond to take advantage of the cost and process efficiencies provided by machine-to-machine communications and automation.

A recent survey by Zebra Technologies shows that enterprises increased IoT investments by 4% in 2018, averaging $4.6 million annually. Nearly nine in 10 survey respondents (86%) expect that percentage to increase over the next two years, with nearly half (49%) expecting that IoT budget increase to hit 11% to 20%.a

This continued commitment is no surprise, given the operational and cost benefits of IoT. But as Zebra’s second annual Intelligent Enterprise Index makes clear, there’s an arguably even greater business advantage to IoT — the data generated by these connected devices can be shared with enterprise employees in real- or near real-time to facilitate decision-making.

More and more enterprises are getting this, the survey shows: In 2018, 82% of enterprises were sharing  IoT-generated data with employees more than once a day (up from 70% in 2017), with 43% sharing IoT data with employees in real time (up from 38% in 2017).

What these enterprises are doing is empowering employees by providing them relevant information when they need it. For customer-facing workers in sales and support, IoT data can be invaluable in assisting customers seeking to make a purchase or solve a problem.

“Gaining greater accuracy of reporting across supplier networks, improving product quality visibility and more real-time data from distribution channels are the growth catalysts companies competing in retail, manufacturing, and transportation & logistics need to grow,” writes Forbes contributor Louis Columbus. The findings from Zebra’s survey, he adds, “reflect how enterprises are using real-time data monitoring to drive quicker, more accurate decisions and be more discerning in which strategies they choose.”

Only 2% of survey respondents said they don’t disseminate IoT data to their employees, while another 16% share that data irregularly. Over time these enterprises may find themselves falling behind more responsive competitors that are sharing IoT data with employees to drive insights, agility, and action.

Which side of the IoT divide do you want to be on?

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