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US Businesses Show IoT Investment Resilience, Despite Pandemic

by Gina Luk | Sep 16, 2021

GDP in all countries has been impacted by the global slow down as the full impact of the pandemic has taken effect. Despite the terrible adversity inflicted by COVID-19, grounds for optimism remain for IoT spending in the US, according to End User Research carried out by Strategy Analytics on the US IoT Market in Q2 and Q3 2021, IoT Deployment and Adoption Trends 2021: United States

The IoT landscape changed rapidly in 2020. The Strategy Analytics End User Research highlights some interesting trends:

  • The pandemic placed a huge burden on businesses to become flexible, agile, and safe, both for their workforces and, in many cases, business survival. This means rapid digitalisation and investment in tools to make this possible. IoT is a critical lynchpin in achieving those ends. 
  • These requirements are happening at a time when IoT can be delivered at scale; devices and platforms are becoming affordable, intelligence is moving to endpoints, the networks are more capable and cloud hyperscalers are becoming dominant.

These factors have shaped the overall landscape, and while spending was more muted in major European markets like Germany and France, IoT spend as a portion of IT Spend was higher on average among US companies in 2020. The spending picture shows progressive growth into higher spending bands over the coming 1 to 2 years.

US Short Term Operational Spending has Increased ahead of Strategic Spending. More Spending Outside IT Budget

Business needs swung back towards short term planning and Operational spending, with delays on Strategic IoT planning as a direct result of the pandemic.

More than half of IoT budgets (58%) continue to be drawn from outside the central IT budget, as evidenced by the focus on Operational Business Needs. Spending will continue outside central budget and ease into higher price bands over the next 2 years.US companies spend more than half of their budgets on existing IoT deployments.

Need for Asset Visibility sees Deployments Scaling, showing major growth in 2H 2021 and into 2022

The main reason US companies deploy IoT is to improve asset utilization and efficiency (58%) and reduce costs (51%). Real-time visibility is critical in understanding operating environments. Despite COVID, there is a definite pivot to Hyperscale IoT over the next 12 months.

5G and Wi-Fi6 will see Major Growth in IoT, according to US Businesses

US companies overwhelmingly use Wi-Fi, Ethernet and Cellular in their IoT Deployments. 5G will have a massive impact on IoT environments in the US in the next 12 months and will be by far the most prominent technology added, with Wi-Fi6 also notable.

51% of US businesses have already integrated 5G into their company, while 30% plan to integrate 5G within the next 1 year; Almost one third would like to work with Carriers on a 5G project for their company

Figure 1: What technologies are you using for your current IoT solutions?  What technologies are you planning to add for your IoT solutions over the next 12 months? (US Businesses Only)

What technologies are you using for your current IoT solutions?  What technologies are you planning to add for your IoT solutions over the next 12 months? (US Businesses Only)

Challenges Remain: Security, Managing large deployments, In-house Skills and Partnerships

Security remains the primary barrier to deploying IoT, while unpredictable costs and the challenge or managing IoT networks and devices (as deployments begin to scale) are concerns among US companies.
Having the right skill sets that are needed to deploy IoT effectively is important. US companies struggle with having the right in-house resources and also have an acute need for partners who have the knowledge and experience to make a deployment effective and successful.

Strategy Analytics interviewed more than 300 IT decision makers (ITDM) across 9 vertical markets across several markets, including the US. The survey identified trends, and the future direction enterprises plan to take, regarding their IoT strategy, deployments and investments.

Key topics explored in the survey:

  • IoT Spending
  • IoT Applications, Projects and Skills
  • Cloud Adoption
  • IoT Vendors
  • Location Intelligence
  • Edge Computing
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • IoT Security
  • Blockchain
  • Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality
  • 5G
  • Mobile Private Networking & Network Slicing
  • Wi-Fi6

For more information, click here for the report: IoT Deployment and Adoption Trends 2021: United States

France and Germany IoT Deployment and Adoption Trends are also available.
A range of vertical market research will also be published.

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