Press Release | 20 Sep 2018

UK businesses of all sizes say Internet of Things ‘vital for success’

A new report from Vodafone highlights that more than half of business leaders in the UK (58%) believe it is essential to embrace Internet of Things (IoT) technology to be successful. Vodafone’s Digital, Ready?  report surveyed 2,000 business leaders, from large enterprises through to sole traders, and reveals that whatever the size of organisation, IoT is seen as a key success driver.

For businesses up to 49 employees, 41% believe IoT is vital for success; this rises to 67% across large enterprises (2,500+ employees). 64% of all respondents believe IoT will improve their business operations, and 62% believe that every business will benefit from the technology.

Looking in more detail at IoT: 31% of all organisations intend to adopt IoT in the next two years, including a quarter of businesses with 1-49 employees; 39% of businesses with 50-250 employees; and 30% of large enterprises.

Anne Sheehan, Enterprise Director, Vodafone UK, commented “IoT can drive innovation and value within an organisation, helping it to achieve operational efficiencies, build more valuable relationships with its customers and facilitate entirely new business models. I believe it offers all organisations a huge opportunity to thrive in this digital age – and they must seize this opportunity now. I’m really encouraged that businesses recognise the role IoT can play; and as global leader in IoT, consider it our role to bring the opportunities to life. There’s no doubt we will see many more applications in the months and years to come.”

However, a lack of understanding could still stifle its potential. 41% of business leaders are concerned that IoT is too complex for their business; and 36% admit they do not understand it – an admission spread evenly across organisations of all sizes.

The findings revealed today are part of a wider report exploring the digital journey being undertaken by UK organisations. It reveals that 79% of businesses see digital transformation as a strategic priority, with key benefits including improving efficiency (57%), improving customer experience (51%) and remaining competitive (49%). To drive this digital agenda forward, 82% of businesses see investing in new technology as a priority.

Other technologies that organisations are planning to adopt in the next two years include Real-time analytics (36%), unified communications (34%), artificial intelligence (AI) (28%) and blockchain (30%).

Vodafone is the global leader in managed IoT connections with 74 million connections and an international network and services platform supporting a wide range of business-critical applications.



Notes to editors:

The Vodafone Digital, Ready? report was previewed at the Future Ready event on 20th September 2018 and will be launched in full in October.


Figure 1:

Q: Do you currently use any of these technologies in your organisation/business? (Use now/Plan to use in the next two years/no plans to adopt

 Plans to use in the next 2 years (%)Use now (%)No plans (%) Plans to use in the next two years (%) by business size
All business sizes 1-5050-250250-2500 2500+
Real time analytics3639252842 41 32
UC3434312341 3536
IOT3136342538 30 30
Big Data3037332634 34 30
Location based services3040302436 31 29
Blockchain3020492136 35 31
Voice recognition28274520373325
Augmented reality2817551836 36 29
Virtual reality2518571531 32 29
3D printing2423531732 27 22
Robotics2419571528 28 33
Cloud2163152026 19 20


Research was conducted by Circle Research in August 2018. All 2001 respondents were involved in strategy and/or technology decision making at their organisation and reached through an online quantitative survey.

Breakdown of respondents:

The 437 Public Sector and 1504 Private Sector decision makers surveyed came from across the UK: East England (159), East Midlands (165), London (321), North East & Yorkshire (249), North West (263), Northern Ireland (48), Scotland (143), South East (274), South West (132), Wales (92), and West Midlands (155). They were chosen from 23 industries ranging in organisational size from sole traders to large enterprises.


About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693


Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


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