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Internet of Things (IoT) is widely recognized by enterprises as one of the most important emerging technologies. Increased levels of investment can be expected across all IoT technology areas in the next phase. However, consumer IoT (Ambient Commerce) will attract more investments among all IoT technologies over the next three years, according to leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

Classified as one of the many use cases for the internet of things (IoT), Ambient commerce helps retailers better understand their customers’ shopping habits and needs.

In a recent survey by the company, ‘Global Emerging Technology Trends Survey 2018: Focus on the Internet of Things’, IoT was identified as an important emerging technology by almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents. The only technologies to perform better were cybersecurity and cloud computing. IoT performed similarly to artificial intelligence (AI), another much-hyped technology.

Businesses are confident about their ability to make IoT a core competency, with more than three-quarters of GlobalData’s survey respondents expecting to reach that stage within two years. Certain industries are leading the way, in particular the technology, media and telecoms sector.

According to GlobalData’s Disruptor Tech Database, IoT can be divided into seven distinct technology areas – ambient commerce, automated home, connected cars, industrial IoT, medical IoT, smart cities and wearable technologies.

Kathryn Weldon, Technology Analyst at GlobalData says: “Ambient commerce and industrial IoT are top of mind for executives, although increased levels of investment can be expected across all IoT technology areas over the next three years (largely due to differing priorities across industries e.g. healthcare companies focusing on medical IoT).

“Ambient commerce is offering goods and services to customers before they order them, based on an analysis of past spending patterns and information derived from sensors, taking advantage of online sites and mobile handsets, among others. Ambient commerce’s growth in future is backed by the rapidly evolving interconnected digital lives.”

While there are many technology challenges associated with implementing IoT projects, the most difficult to address issues relate to the organization’s existing culture, processes and applications. The smartest organizations will be those that take on the challenge of integration with existing processes and systems, rather than simply viewing IoT as something to tack on to an existing offer.

Weldon continues: “The development and implementation of IoT solutions is a complex, multi-disciplinary effort. Smart companies are choosing to partner with technology providers, and participate in industry consortia rather than trying to develop the full range of skills themselves. We would advise all enterprises to engage with partners for IoT technologies, and establish partnerships across their customer and supplier base.

“Across every sector, leading companies are actively deploying IoT solutions but the majority of organizations are still in the ‘planning’ or ‘pilot’ stages. Don’t be left behind; the effective deployment of IoT will differentiate in the market in the short-term, and will be essential over the long-term.”

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