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back to index backEUROtalk May,  2017


Finding Europe's Edge in the Internet of Things

Technology providers in the US seem to have captured a great deal of mindshare around the promise and possibilities of the Internet of Things. European technology providers, however, are no less enthusiastic about the IoT's potential, even if they have been less assertive in promoting their vision to a global audience. In fact, research by Bain & Company finds that in many cases, executives in Europe are more ambitious and optimistic about their plans to deploy and integrate IoT solutions than their American peers, particularly in industrial and commercial applications. Interestingly, we also identified significant differences in the ways that executives in the two regions view the opportunities. These differences could deliver significant competitive advantages to European firmsif they recognize them and act swiftly to make the most of them.

First, Bain's research finds a greater percentage of European executives plan to deploy IoT solutions over the next few years than their colleagues in other regions. In a survey of 500 executives across industries in Europe and the US, 27% of European executives said they are implementing or have already implemented IoT and analytics use cases, compared with 18% of US executives (see Figure 1). Fully one-quarter of the Europeans plan to implement IoT solutions in multiple cases and integrate them with their IT systems by 2020, compared with 16% of the US executives. These numbers suggest European firms are further along in their journey from experimentation to a real commitment to integrate and scale, moving from pilots and trials to scale deployment.

Second, Europeans and Americans appear to want different things out of the IoT. Among executives who emphasized cost reductions from IoT, about two-thirds of European executives are enthusiastic about the potential to improve the quality of existing products based on IoT technologies and advanced analytics, while only about one-third of the American executives rate such quality improvements as a priority. On the other hand, three out of four executives in the US said they expect IoT and related analytics to help them reduce waste and input costs, while only 35% of Europeans highlighted this advantage. These differences suggest that because European executives are ahead in implementing IoT technologies, they may have a clearer view of what they want to pursue. European companies value their international reputation for superior quality and distinctive innovation, and executives want to use the IoT to extend their lead.

Bain research also finds European executives more focused on security as a primary concern than are executives in the US. When asked, 39% of IoT customers in Europe rated security concerns as a major obstacle to IoT adoption, compared with 27% of US customers. The groups differed on their concerns over compliance, too, with 22% of Europeans rating regulatory barriers as a top barrier, while only 8% of US executives did. This awareness could become a competitive advantage for European firms as they develop cost-effective solutions that comply with a wide range of regulatory regimes and a user base that takes a sophisticated stance on security and privacy issues.

To read entire article, please click here.

Source: Bain & Company - GAI



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