Vodacom Business has released its annual IoT Barometer report, and the 2019 edition makes for some interesting reading.

One of the aspects it touches on is IoT sophistication, even creating an index and five different bands by which a region’s strategy and implementation for the Internet of Things (IoT) are measured.

The five bands are labelled A to E, with the former being the most sophisticated and latter less so.

Battle of the bands

As far as Band A goes, Vodacom Business defines these organisations as early adopters of IoT, with them usually implementing multiple full-scale projects that are deeply embedded within the wider business.

Conversely Band E are companies that have not adopted IoT, yet. The majority are said to be considering it, but have not made firm plans to implement within the next two years, with 2 percent of organisations surveyed by Vodacom Business deciding against it entirely.

The reason why IoT sophistication is so important is the fact that the 2019 Barometer has found that greater sophistication often leads to the higher likelihood of benefits. In fact it places the global average at 52 percent, with companies categorised in Band A reporting an even higher percentage of 87.

As such, the more sophisticated the companies in your region, the better chance that IoT can yield tangible benefits across the board.

So where does EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) fall in all of this?

Unfortunately EMEA has the highest percentage of companies in Band E among all of the regions surveyed at 42. This is 5 percent above the global average according to Vodacom Business. EMEA also has the lowest percentage for Bands A, B and C, but it’s not all doom and gloom.

This as Vodacom Business says 83 percent of adopters in the EMEA region say IoT is critical for the future success of their business, which means the slow and non-adopters will begin kicking off their own projects and initiatives out of fears of being left behind.

What about SA?

When chatting to Vodacom Business’ managing executive, Peter Malebye, he says South Africa is a bit more unique compared to some of the other countries in EMEA. While he could not give specifics for SA at the time, he did note that it’s best to view South Africa’s IoT sophistication in terms of industries instead of companies.

In the automotive, fintech and security industries for example, South Africa could easily be classed as Band A. Our retail industry is also quire sophisticated, and can be placed in the Band C bracket, along with a few other industries too.

As such, the task ahead is two-fold. One, to ensure that the industries leading the way in terms of IoT sophistication stay that way. And two that they serve as illustrative models for areas where South Africa is lacking, such as education and healthcare.

If this happens, the outlook for SA will be far more positive in next year’s IoT Barometer.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]