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Research reveals majority agribiz do not share IoT data effectively

A research by Inmarsat, a global mobile satellite communications company, revealed that very few businesses derive maximum benefit from the IoT data that they gather

The research was based on the interviews of 450 global respondents across agriculture, electrical utilities, mining, oil and gas, and transport and logistics sectors. According to the research, as many as 90% of respondents working in agriculture admitted that their organisation does not use the data collected from IoT projects as effectively as it could. This is despite high levels of IoT adoption overall. The most prevalent barriers are security and data privacy concerns, cited as a barrier by over half (56%) of all respondents, followed by a lag between data collection and availability (44%) and the lack of an IoT data strategy (36%).

Accelerating IoT adoption over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the fact that many businesses’ data sharing strategies are not yet as advanced as they need to be. Currently, only 20% of all agriculture organisations make non-sensitive IoT data available to anyone in their organisation, and to their partners, to access and to use. Conversely, nearly two in five (36%) limit the use of IoT data to certain departments involved in their IoT projects. However, this is set to change, with a larger proportion of agriculture organisations (42%) shifting towards sharing data with their wider supply chain and far fewer (18%) planning on limiting IoT data to specific departments. This change is occurring as more businesses come to understand that the responsible and secure sharing of IoT data is a necessary step towards unlocking the maximum value of that data.

The research reveals that having a formal IoT data strategy is a vital step towards drawing the optimum benefits from the technology, ensuring data is produced, shared, and analysed between the right parties at the right time. Agriculture organisations with a formal IoT strategy are far more likely to gather data points in their IoT projects within half an hour or less (61% of respondents compared to only 30% amongst organisations without an IoT strategy).

There are also notable differences in how strategic agriculture businesses are in the usage of their IoT data based on the region they operate in and the size of their organisations. While only 33% of Asia Pacific businesses struggle to use IoT data effectively due to the lack of an IoT data strategy, this increases to 50% of organisations in Europe (excluding Russia) and 53% in Latin America. Likewise, while 22% of large agriculture organisations (3,001 - 5,000 employees) struggle with a lack of an IoT data strategy, 41% of smaller businesses (under 500 employees) cite this as a barrier to effective IoT data use.

Steven Tompkins, director of market development at Inmarsat Enterprise, said, “In an industry that is seeing major advancements due to new technologies, ensuring that data is being communicated effectively across organisations and supply chains is integral to make the most of a business’ data. While agricultural businesses have been making strides in IoT, many still struggle to use IoT data as effectively as they could. In fact, of all sectors surveyed, agricultural and electrical utilities businesses are most likely to have a formal IoT strategy. However, even here there is plenty of room for improvement as more agricultural businesses lack an IoT strategy than have one. To ensure that agricultural businesses can make the most of their technology investments, especially the wealth of data this will generate, implementing a clear IoT data strategy will be a crucial step forward."