Nearly all companies who have embarked upon 'a connected product journey' report both financial and customer experience benefits, according to a recent market report published in the USA.

The Internet of Things Journey surveyed 600 product companies, whose primary headquarters were based in the USA, and other discrete manufacturers in various stages of deployment and found that 87% have seen revenue improvements as a direct result of connecting a product and over 90% saw improvements in business efficiencies and product uptime, it is claimed.

The biggest improvement, claims the report, was in customer insights. Only 25% of all companies surveyed expected customer and product insight improvements when they started their 'connected product project', but 95% of these manufacturers reported valuable customer insights including customer behaviour, needs and modes of interaction as real and tangible benefits of product connectivity. Furthermore, 93% reported customer support as a business improvement since connecting products, and 88% also cited improved customer relationships.

For 44% of companies surveyed, who were engaged in both early and active 'Internet of Things' (IoT) deployment, data management was the biggest challenge they faced in terms of using IoT data to make better business decisions. Of the organisations with existing IoT deployments, the report claims that 43% cited integration with existing business systems as one of their biggest challenges.

Jessica Groopman of Harbor Research commented, "With proper strategy design and data management in place, the IoT can offer a range of benefits to businesses." She added that customer and product data are worth their weight in gold, but only if actionable. "In order to achieve the customer and business value of the IoT, data must be properly managed and integrated with critical support tools like CRM systems," she said.

In other key findings, the report found that revenue was not the key project driver, but was a strong benefit; that business efficiencies WERE the key project driver; that companies underestimated the complexity of security; and that 'interoperability' is a design and early deployment headache.

The research was undertaken by Harbor Research and was sponsored by LogMeln, both based in the USA.