Adoption of M2M Technology on the Rise

The survey revealed nearly all (96 percent) of the Americas organizations implementing M2M strategies have experienced a return on their investment.

machine to machine and vodafone

Machine-to-Machine (M2M) adoption has increased by more than 80 percent globally in the last year and it is projected that more than half of companies in the Americas will implement M2M by 2016, according to a report from Vodafone.

The survey, carried out by Circle Research, representing the views of more than 600 executives involved in setting M2M strategy in seven key industries across 14 countries, indicated that 57 percent of health care and life sciences companies will have adopted M2M technologies by 2016.

Take-up in the transport and logistics sector will be driven by fleet management benefits, as M2M-led routing, job allocation and maintenance schedules become even more evident, according to the study.

The survey revealed nearly all (96 percent) of the Americas organizations implementing M2M strategies have experienced a return on investment (ROI), such as greater competitive advantage, customer service and productivity.

However, the report also indicated barriers for adoption still remain, including managing security concerns and the challenges of global deployment.

"M2M is still in the early stages of adoption so it is natural that there are perceived risks and uncertainty around the technology," Andrew Morawski, head of M2M for the Americas at Vodafone, told eWEEK. "Through greater adoption, education and familiarity, these perceptions will change. M2M itself is based on secure foundations--it is still predominantly based on GSM SIM technology which has a well-proven track record for security."

Nearly three-quarters of consumer electronics companies will have adopted some form of M2M by 2016, whether for new products, logistics or production, as the consumer electronics sector surges to the forefront of a shift from the warehouse to the living room.

In addition, 81 percent of the organizations surveyed say that 4G mobile is very or quite important for their projects, and the report noted the proliferation of 4G is also expected to improve the return on investment (ROI) equation for many M2M solutions and enable new ones.

The study revealed that the percentage of companies relying on fixed-line connections for M2M will fall—down 15 percentage points to 48 percent in the next three years.

Morawski said this is due to the falling costs of mobile broadband and the emergence of 4G--84 percent of those currently developing an M2M strategy said that 4G was “very important” or “quite important” to their project.

"As M2M is evolving, we believe there will be a greater focus on the big data insights that can be gleaned from M2M data, and that will provide tangible value to organizations that implement these programs," he said. "We expect leaders in the M2M space to develop planned big data approaches to M2M deployment. In addition, organizations will begin to see the benefits of 4G, creating new kinds of applications supported by 4G."

According to a report from Machina Research, M2M technology, which connects previously isolated machines or devices to the Internet to make the Internet of things (IoT) possible, is set to grow from 4.4 billion connected devices this year to 10.3 billion by 2018.