How Mature is Your IoT Market?

March 28, 2016

IDC’s Directions conference last week in Boston had a single track devoted specifically to IoT. If you couldn’t make the conference, here are some of the high points and insights from IDC analysts presenting at the show:

“A Market Maturing: The Reality of IoT” presented by Carrie MacGillivray, VP IoT and Mobile

At the moment ROI cases for IoT are, as MacGillivray pointed out, few and far between. Solutions are becoming more “real”, but no single vendor has the solution. Issues of standards, regulation, scalability, and, particularly, cost are still significant inhibitors. But various businesses are moving on IoT. How mature are their efforts?

In late December 2015, IDC performed a large maturity survey of a variety of line of business decision makers. “Maturity” is IDC’s metric for organizational readiness. It has four different dimensions, and MacGillivray explained and gave an illustrative example for each.


Madikwe Game Reserve in Zambia has a serious problem with rhinoceros poaching—hundreds of rhinos are killed annually for their horn, purchased by makers of traditional medicine in the growing economies of East Asia.

The example of vision in practice is cellular-network-enabled collars on each rhino, tied to an RFID chip in the horn. Rhinos are normally placid—any rapid motion indicates a threat. Teams respond to unusual movement to drive off poachers.

A question to ask about your organization: Is your executive team on board?


Eagle Ford Oil & Gas, a small-scale driller, was concerned about declining production of its wells. Analysis of data from sensors on its drill heads and pumps enabled it to optimize the pump size to the volume produced, increasing productivity.

A question to ask about your organization: In addition to connecting to the “thing”, is your backend adequately enabled?


Barilla, a manufacturer of pasta sauce, wanted visibility into its supply chain, and used sensors, scans, and structured data to understand where each part of its product came from, how long the ingredients waited in various locations, and if there was any possible source of contamination.

A question to ask about your organization: Where is IoT in your strategic plan?


Airbus, the large airframe manufacturer, wanted to optimize the use of  more than 1,100 tools use at 400,00 points in airframe manufacture. The new workflow meant that many jobs changed, sometimes significantly, and workers were coached through the process.

A question to ask about your organization: Have you communicated adequately with your staff, and are they ready for the coming changes? This is an area that is often neglected relative to the other parameters.


It’s clear that there is a higher likelihood of success if the IoT vision is set at the executive level. But the good news is that companies are further along in their acceptance of IoT than is generally recognized.