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This report draws on Ovum’s unique expertise to provide an objective overview of IoT and the very different applications of IoT technology in different industries.


  • IoT helps the transformation to a customer-adaptive enterprise.
  • Significant barriers to IoT deployment persist.
  • Manufacturing offers the most compelling prospects; education the least.

Features and Benefits

  • Discusses the current hype and reality of IoT.
  • Assesses the opportunity for IoT in a number of different industries.

Key questions answered

  • What is the hype and reality of IoT?
  • What are the opportunities for IoT in different industries?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

IoT is poorly understood and misrepresented

  • Our simplified IoT technology stack cuts through the hype
  • Systems integrators will play a significant role in the first phase of IoT rollout
  • Industrial IoT will develop much faster than smart home
  • From Networks of Things to the Internet of Things

Technological changes and customer demands drive IoT proliferation

  • Falling costs push industrial sensing on the road to ubiquity
  • The smart home market could be tipped for growth
  • IoT helps the transformation to a customer-adaptive enterprise

Significant barriers to IoT deployment persist

  • Security breaches present a significant problem to enterprises
  • IoT and privacy make poor bedfellows
  • Data becomes a critical asset and must be well managed
  • Cultural barriers must be overcome

The IoT opportunities in different industries

  • Manufacturing offers the most compelling prospects
  • Manufacturing
  • Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Oil & gas
  • Telecoms
  • Retail payments
  • Media and broadcast
  • Higher education

Manufacturing is a future hotbed for IoT deployment

  • IoT is billed as the next big thing in manufacturing
  • The benefits of IoT in manufacturing are many
  • Despite IoT's attraction, many barriers hamper mass deployment


  • The insurance sector is an early adopter of IoT
  • IoT offers insurers a platform for new propositions development
  • Some vendors have established an early lead in IoT-based services for the insurance sector

Utilities get smarter with IoT

  • The utilities industry has used connected devices for decades
  • IoT is at the heart of utilities' digital transformation
  • Opportunities abound in the utilities industry, but not for all

IoT is an essential piece of the healthcare transformation puzzle

  • Mind the gap: silos have restricted medical device usefulness
  • Long-term healthcare transformation requires dynamic monitoring; analytics is the linchpin
  • Reaping the benefits and avoiding the pitfalls: security, safety, standards ... and sensibility
  • Healthcare IoT will drive technology mash-ups, vendor collaboration, and disruption

Smart city projects persist in silos

  • Governments are connecting devices with public services
  • IoT adoption is confined to smart cities, but presents wider opportunities
  • Data sharing is the elephant in the room
  • Public sector organizations must make plans to build IoT into future services

Oil & gas is fertile ground for IoT adoption

  • IoT adoption is low, but the future looks positive
  • Cultural and technical barriers must be overcome
  • The IoT can enable crucial process improvements
  • IoT complexity currently favors large vendors

IoT on the inside will support telco digital transformation

  • Telcos have long used connected devices to monitor operations
  • Sensing and controls will underpin telcos' digital infrastructure
  • IoT extends telcos' customer value propositions
  • The future opportunity

The push to remove frictions will drive IoT in payments

  • Payments, for the most part, still rely on human intervention
  • IoT is the next stage of mobile wallet evolution
  • Privacy concerns may limit initial growth, but the market is wide open

IoT is an unnecessary distraction for the media and broadcast industry

  • There has been very little use of IoT in the media and broadcast industry
  • IoT can provide context for more accurate and multi-user recommendations
  • Wearables can improve customer experience at outdoor events

True IoT is yet to make a significant impact in higher education

  • IoT has not yet hit the mainstream in higher education
  • If done properly, IoT data will personalize and enhance the student experience
  • The long-term future of IoT in higher education is not yet clear


  • Methodology
  • Lead author
  • Contributors

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