Big Data and IoT Opportunities for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Big Data and IoT Opportunities for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Siti Aishah Mohd Selamat (Bournemouth University, UK), Simant Prakoonwit (Bournemouth University, UK), Reza Sahandi (Bournemouth University, UK) and Wajid Khan (Bournemouth University, UK)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7432-3.ch005
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The advancement of technology and emergence of internet of things (IoT) has exponentially caused a data explosion in the 21st century era. As such, the arrival of IoT is set to revolutionize the development of the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) organizations by shaping it into a more universal and integrated ecosystem. Despite evidential studies of the potential of advanced technologies for businesses, the SMEs are apprehensive towards new technologies adoption such as big data analytics and IoT. Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to provide a holistic study of big data and IoT opportunities, challenges, and applications within the SMEs context. The authors hope that the outcome of this study would provide foundational information on how the SMEs can partake with the new wave technological advancement and in turn, spurring more SMEs for adoption.
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The advancement of technology and emergence of Internet-of-Things (Woodward et al.) has exponentially caused a data explosion in the 21st Century era. It is predicted that the magnitude of data is set to scale up to fifty billion Terabytes by 2020 (Arora & Rahman, 2016). The arrival of IoT is set to revolutionize the development of a Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) organisation – by shaping it into a more universal and integrated ecosystem. The inpouring of data can pose as a potential treasure for the SMEs organisation if the data collected are inherently translated to become useful knowledge (Chudik, Kapetanios, & Pesaran, 2016). Despite being in a progressive business condition, loaded with interconnectedness; a business long-term positioning remains ‘uncertain’. It is, therefore, crucial to study the opportunities of big data and IoT for the SMEs. In addition, analysing also its implications and effect, should the SMEs organization fails to jump on-board on the new technological advancement wave. An extensive report from the European (EU) Commission indicates that SMEs are the core financial driver of growth in the EU region. In 2015, the EU Commission unveils that the SMEs contributed up to approximate of 4 trillionn euros to the EU economy (Eurostat 2018). Further to this, it has been highlighted that the SMEs are contributing twice as much in comparison to the larger organizations available in the EU continents. SMEs organizations can aspect to accelerate their growth by up to two to three times faster when they embrace new digital technologies like big data and IoT (Commission, 2013). The untapped potential here for the SME is really immense. For instance, a recent study by the EU Commission denotes that most digitally mature SMEs in France observed a growth rate of up to six times in comparison to the digitally less mature SMEs. By incorporating new technologies into the business, the French SMEs doubled their revenue growth rates (Commission, 2017). Another study conducted in the Swedish context reveals a similar result. Despite the momentous opportunities and advantages, SME businesses are slow to change and labeled as laggards in new technologies adoption in comparison to its larger enterprise counterpart. It is reported that close to 9.2 million (41%) of EU SMEs have yet to adopt any of a set of the four advanced technologies like social media, mobile, big data and cloud computing. Focusing in specific to the big data solution adoption rate; an alarming figure of 20.7 million EUs SMEs has yet to adopt big data technologies in 2015 (Commission, 2013). These startling findings insinuate that these SMEs will not be ready to welcome the IoT technologies either. Reason being, big data capability is mandatory for connecting into the IoT ecosystem. It would be unattainable for the EU SMEs to manage the incoming data flow from the embedded sensors from the IoT without having the big data solutions in place first. It is undeniable that the EU SMEs needs to revolutionize itself in order to remain competitive and relevant in the business sphere. As recount earlier, the business environment is unpredictable; the EU SMEs unpreparedness could eventually be overtaken by the larger enterprises.

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