The number of large-scale Internet of Things (IoT) projects doubled in the past year, according to Vodafone’s fifth annual IoT Barometer.

The barometer is a global survey of business sentiment regarding investment and innovation in the IoT. It offers a detailed insight into how the IoT is transforming the world of business, as well as what the future holds for the technology.

When it comes to the IoT, adoption is increasing rapidly. In 2013, the IoT Barometer found that just 12 per cent of companies were incorporating it into their business operations. Now, however, that figure stands at 29 per cent.

These companies are also spending more on the technology than they did 12 months ago. According to Vodafone, the reason for this increasing adoption is that they’re seeing a return on their investment.

Director of Vodafone Internet of Things and CEO of Vodafone Global Enterprise Erik Brenneis said: “Those returns can be significant – where adopters reported an increase in revenue, the average was 19 per cent. And we found that there’s a correlation between scale of adoption and return on investment (ROI) achieved.

“Among those with up to 100 connected devices, 28 per cent are seeing ‘significant return or benefit’; that rises to 67 per cent of those with over 50,000 connected devices.”

According to the findings of the IoT Barometer, 12 per cent of adopters now have at least 10,000 connected devices, while those with over 50,000 connected devices has doubled, from three per cent to six per cent.

These businesses are becoming more sophisticated in their adoption of the IoT, embedding it within their business processes. For example, 46 per cent have integrated it with core systems, such as enterprise resource planning.

IoT security is still the biggest barrier for organisations regarding deployment. However, only seven per cent of companies with 10,000 or more connected devices in operation say security is their top worry. This is compared with 19 per cent of companies with smaller programmes reporting the same concern.

Vodafone said organisations are now taking more action to tackle security concerns, including providing more security training for existing staff, working with specialist security providers and recruiting more IT security specialists.

Among those who have adopted the technology, 79 per cent think that the IoT will have “an enormous or sizeable impact on the whole economy in the next five years”. Meanwhile, 72 per cent of adopters expect security and privacy concerns will be greatly reduced, which will clear the way for the increased usage of the IoT.

Mr Brenneis said: “Over the five years of this report, we have seen the number of companies that have adopted the IoT double, and projects have grown from small pilots to global rollouts of tens of thousands of connected devices.

“IoT is clearly here to stay and the future looks exciting as 79 per cent of adopters are saying that the IoT will have an enormous impact on the whole economy in the next five years.”

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