May 17 (SeeNews) - Businesses in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) consider investments in the Internet of Things (IoT) technology as strategic, rather than tactical or transformational, according to market intelligence provider IDC.
Over 30% of companies in the region believe IoT could have a strategic impact on their business and give them a competitive edge that would allow them to expand into new markets, Neli Vacheva, country manager for Bulgaria at IDC, said during the IoT Adventure Forum in Sofia earlier this week, presenting the findings of an IDC survey.
This share compares to over 15% who believe investments in IoT could have a transformational effect, and less than 10% of sceptics who do not think IoT technology could affect their business.
The top three use cases for IoT technology in CEE are energy consumption, monitoring and saving – 31.31% of the total, staff identification and location - 22.36%, and logistics and fleet management - 25.60%.
However, the share of companies that plan to invest in IoT remains small, as business are put off by serious security and privacy concerns, the complexity of implementation, the high costs involved and unclear return on investments.
Only 16.96% of companies in CEE plan to allocate IT budget to innovation, as compared to 48% to maintaining existing systems and 13.5% to regulatory compliance.
Yet, Southeast Europe (SEE) is gradually warming up to this transformative technology, according to IDC.
"We observe that companies across the SEE region are increasingly embracing the IoT, with many planning to accelerate investments in the short term, as businesses, governments, and other organizations become familiar with the IoT concept," Milan Kalal, IoT research programme manager at IDC CEMA, commented for SeeNews.
The SEE region has a very serious expertise in designing IoT platforms and applications for the global market, and is accumuating significant knowledge in this area, Vacheva told SeeNews on the sidelines of the forum. Almost all software outsourcing companies have IoT projects, including projects for F500 companies, she added.
According to IDC, worldwide spending on IoT is expected reach $772.5 billion (655.6 billion euro) in 2018, an increase of 14.6% compared to $674 billion spent in 2017. In CEE, expenditure on IoT is expected to rise by an annual 15.5% to $11.2 billion.