Of all emerging technologies, the Internet of Things is viewed as the most important to business.
It ranks above artificial intelligence and robots, based on a new global study.
Well over half (64%) of executives see IoT as important to their current business and even more (90%) believe it will be important to the future of their business.
The study comprised a survey of 500 executives in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific who identified themselves as involved with the IoT activities in their companies. All of those surveyed were director level or above in companies with 500 or more employees in the study conducted by Forbes Insight for Hitachi.
Technology initiatives in companies run the gamut. Here are the tech initiatives considered important:
About half (51%) of businesses have significant IoT programs in operation and 49% are in the early stages of planning and pilot programs.
At the recent NRF expo in New York, I heard of several companies in the piloting stages of various IoT initiatives.
In retail, 37% of companies are operating pilot programs and more than a third (34%) have significant IoT programs in operations, according to the study. Almost a quarter (22%) are in the planning stages.
The results of all this IoT activity is likely to be felt if not seen by consumers.
Considering all functions in organizations, the top area or prioritization for more than half (55%) of businesses is in customer experience.
In addition, of companies who rated their IoT initiatives as being successful, the number one success rating was in customer experience.
Of the companies with successful IoT revenue programs, the revenue came from a range of customer-related issues, including creating new products for customers (60%), creating new services for customers (58%) and supporting customization of current products (58%).
The Internet of Things is not about the technology. It is about the customer.