The internet of things (IoT) market remains fragmented in EMEA stemming from a disconnect between IT and business departments over what IoT is and how it should be used. This is according to a new survey of 1,400 business and IT leaders from 11 countries in Europe and the Middle East.

Findings from ‘The EMEA IoT showdown: Business vs. IT’ from Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, show that while there is a 50% adoption rate of IoT across the region, set to rise to 82% by 2019, there is a clear lack of alignment between business and IT leadership regarding what IoT is, how it is being used and even whether it has been adopted.
This in turn has created a highly fragmented landscape across EMEA, with countries reporting drastically different levels of IoT adoption, understanding of IoT, and levels of perceived security that it offers.

A number of key trends show how IT and business leaders are at an impasse on IoT:

• Differing Definitions: Fundamentally, IT and business departments have not yet agreed on what IoT is. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of IT leaders define IoT as ‘adding internet connectivity to everyday objects’ while nearly half (48%) of business leaders give IoT a rather contrasting term: ‘automation of building services’.
• Conflicting Priorities: Similarly, the use cases for IoT vary across departments. According to IT leaders, the number one use case for IoT, now and in the future, is monitoring and maintenance of critical equipment. For business leaders, the preferred use of IoT is to provide location-based services.
• Adoption Perceptions: There even appears to be disagreement over whether IoT is being used. Nearly six in ten (58%) business leaders believe they have adopted IoT technology in their organization, compared to under half (47%) of IT decision makers.
• Future Plans: European IT departments have greater hesitancy to deploy IoT. When asked about adoption rates, 13% of IT leaders say they have ‘no plans’ to deploy IoT. Conversely, 93% of business leaders declared that they have, or will be adopting, IoT technology.

However, businesses and IT leaders in EMEA are feeling optimistic as they look for business outcomes that include improved workforce productivity, reduced operational risk, greater efficiency and better value when buying IoT services.

Morten Illum, VP of EMEA at Aruba commented on the findings: “It’s clear that there are conflicting views within departments on IoT, but with IoT adoption moving at an unprecedented rate and the business reporting clear business value from IoT, it is essential that there is an open dialogue around IoT to ensure cohesion on IoT adoption. Conflicting priorities could mean disruption in its success within the organization”.


The map of IoT in EMEA
The use of IoT across European and Middle Eastern regions is currently in a state of flux, with countries showing vastly different levels of understanding, adoption and preparedness for IoT.

Spain leads IoT adoption, UK and Norway falling behind
• Spain leads European IoT adoption with 69% of respondents claiming to have already deployed the technology, while France and Italy report a relatively high IoT adoption rate of 61%.
• German adoption stands at 54%, with Saudi Arabia just behind on 53%.
• The UAE (48%), Turkey (44%) and Netherlands (43%) all fall below the 50% mark.
• The UK, Sweden (both 37%) and Norway (34%) have the lowest adoption rate of IoT technology across the entire global study, and almost half the rate of the leading European country, Spain.

Spain also has the highest perceived understanding of IoT, followed by Italy
• When asked about how well their colleagues understand IoT, Spain (68%) and Italy (67%) give the most positive responses.
• Germany (65%) also scores highly here, along with France (61%).
• Netherlands (58%), Sweden (55%) and UAE (54%) dip below the global average of 58%.
• Saudi Arabia (45%) and Norway (40%) post a relatively low understanding of IoT.
• Turkey (37%) reports a low score, and again the UK (35%) falls to the bottom of the European list.

Italy believes IoT is well secured, Norway and Saudi Arabia less so
• 96% of Italian respondents believe that IoT is appropriately secured, making them by far the most confident region in this matter.
• At 90%, Spanish respondents also show confidence in IoT security, followed by Germany (85%), UAE, France (both 83%) and Sweden (82%).
• Just over three-quarters (76%) of respondents in Netherlands and the UK, and marginally less in Turkey (74%), believe IoT is appropriately secured in their business—meaning a quarter of employees have security concerns.
• Norway and Saudi Arabia have the highest levels of fear regarding the security of IoT—72% believe it is appropriately secured, versus 28% who feel this is not the case.

All countries report widespread positive outcomes from IoT
• UAE (90%) and Saudi Arabia (72%) saw most executives report an increase in the efficiency of their organization’s IT following the introduction of IoT.
• Most French (76%), UK (80%), Spanish (90%) and Italian (87%) leaders reported improved levels of innovation.
• German business leaders said that IoT has led to increased visibility for their IT department across the organization (57%).
• For Turkish (80%) and Dutch (74%) businesses, IoT has increased business efficiency.
• While 81% of Swedish executives reported customer experience improvements.

Illum concludes: “EMEA has a huge opportunity with IoT. With executives across the region already reporting significant business benefits such as enhanced customer experiences and better innovation, those who are able to successfully align and connect internal structures to implement IoT are well positioned to gain a competitive advantage”.

To find out more about the use cases, benefits and security of IoT, click here.