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IoT retail revolution opens doors for change

IoT in business is likely to be profitable – if investment and security puzzles are solved first.

In no other sector does Internet of Things (IoT) tech seem more relevant than retail, where the majority of entrepreneurs believe it has already improved customer experience and increased visibility across organisations. With Black Friday about to blow through the UK market like a storm, firms need to do all they can to entice customers with more outlets to choose from than ever before.

Almost three-quarters (72%) of enterprise organisations already deploy IoT tech, hoping a personal edge will hook a spend-ready market. This number is expected to rise to 85% by 2019, according to new research from HPE Aruba. Examples of the networked devices include barcode readers, smartphone apps, smart speakers, display screens and audio systems.

Its use cases include monitoring and maintenance as well as location-based services. Two-thirds of IT professionals surveyed defined IoT as "adding internet connectivity to everyday objects", which is broadly in-line with the view of tech entrepreneur and author Kevin Ashton, who specifies objects with "sensors connected to the internet" which are "sharing data freely".

Taking into account some conflicting definitions of IoT tech among participating businesses, the report nevertheless indicated mainly positive financial outcomes from its use. 88% of respondents reported a return on investment in the tech and three-quarters saw an increase in profitability.


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