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Canadian businesses face a digital divide when it comes to the Internet of Things: study

June 23, 2016  By Telus

June 23, 2016 – Half of Canadian businesses could soon have a competitive advantage over the rest: according to a new study commissioned by TELUS, there’s an even split between Canadian businesses when it comes to their plans for Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

The study found that 52 per cent of Canadian businesses are considering, planning, piloting or deploying an Internet of Things (IoT) solution, while 48 per cent indicated that they have no plans at all to adopt the technology. For those who are not considering IoT, 64 per cent feel that there is no business need.

“By embracing IoT technology, Canadian businesses have a huge opportunity to reap the benefits of digital transformation, yet we’re seeing that some are much further along the adoption curve than others,” said Jim Senko, senior vice-president of Small Business and Emerging Markets at TELUS. “From streamlining business processes to creating entirely new business models, IoT solutions have tremendous potential to generate efficiencies, increase cost savings and quite literally, revolutionize how businesses operate. If companies aren’t already looking into the technology, they’re at risk of falling behind those that are.”

Organizations that have embraced IoT are seeing the results that the technology can deliver – and they want more. The study revealed that the vast majority (86 per cent) of Canadian businesses who have piloted or deployed an IoT solution are seeing its value and 83 per cent are planning or already implementing additional solutions. There’s a sense of urgency amongst these adopters as well, as more than 50 per cent wish they were further along in their deployments.  


According to the study, Canadian businesses are sharply polarized when it comes to the impact they think IoT will have on their industry. Nearly two-thirds of businesses who are in the piloting and deployment stages predict that they will see a transformational impact on their business over the next five years, while only seven per cent of non-adopters feel the same way.

“The vast majority of businesses that are piloting IoT solutions are realizing that small changes can have a big impact and that, with the right partner, the technology can be deployed safely and securely,” said Senko. “A business can start with something simple like remotely tracking vehicles or high-value assets and then evolve their IoT strategy and build their business case as they gain experience with the technology. There are IoT solutions for nearly every industry, and it’s important that businesses ‘test the waters’ to fully understand what IoT can and can’t do for them.”  

Other key findings in the study include:

  • Of the 52 per cent of IT decision makers who are interested in IoT:
  • 23 per cent are considering
  • 11 per cent are planning
  • 9 per cent are piloting
  • 9 per cent have deployed at least one solution
  • The most common solutions currently being piloted or deployed are security (53 per cent) and remote monitoring (47 per cent)
  • The biggest barriers to adoption for IT leaders, regardless of development stage, are budget (51 per cent), security (41 per cent), privacy (36 per cent) and demonstrating ROI/building a business case (33 per cent)
  • More than half (55 per cent) of Canadian businesses do not feel they have the necessary IT expertise within their organizations to develop IoT solutions and require external partners

The study was conducted by MARU/VR&C (formerly the Research & Consulting Division of Vision Critical) and surveyed 506 IT decision makers from businesses across Canada in March 2016.

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