Accelerating the Impact of IoT Technologies

Nearly 75% of IoT projects currently fail. To overcome the challenges and reach the full potential of IoT, world technology leaders have united around a new approach to promote best practices, streamline procurement, and enable more consistency. 

The Challenge 

Plummeting costs and rapid technological advancements in connectivity, computing and storage have accelerated the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). But despite growing experimentation with IoT, success stories are the exception. According to a 2017 analysis by Cisco, three-quarters of IoT projects fail due to limited understanding of how to effectively design and integrate these solutions into day-to-day corporate or government operations. And challenges related to security, interoperability and the sustainability of IoT solutions are widespread.  

The Opportunity 

IoT is set to generate new cost-savings and efficiencies and to drive significant improvements to quality of life.  An analysis by the World Economic Forum, in partnership with IoT-Analytics GmbH, found that an estimated 84% of IoT-use currently addresses, or has the potential to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. So as widely believed, there is now proof that IoT has clear societal benefits, which could be maximized, without compromising commercial viability.  

Key Dates and Next Steps 

2016-2017: More than 35 cities commit to deploy IoT technologies in a more consistent manner, leveraging a common set of shared values.  

June 2018: Government partnerships are announced between Brazil and Denmark to launch new IoT policy pilots.  


Summer 2018: Co-design of initial implementation model framework, shared values and guiding principles.  

September 2018: Preliminary findings from analysis highlights need to prioritize IoT solutions based on potential value and ease of scalability; community session with Mayors and private sector leaders held, focusing on global principles for IoT deployments at Annual Meeting of New Champions in Tianjin, China.  

October 2018: Plans announced to develop first implementation model around smart water systems as part of Industrial IoT World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.  


Spring-Winter 2019: First set of implementation models and government pilots are launched, with independent monitoring of impact; model extended to include private sector procurement. 

How to Engage 

Project Community: Nominate experts, policy-makers or senior executives to help guide individual Centre projects by providing regular input as projects develop. 

Fellow: Nominate an individual from your company to work full- or part-time at the Centre to play an integral role in shaping this initiative.  

Global IoT Council: Nominate a global chief executive or c-suite leader to shape global governance of IoT and provide strategic guidance to the Centre’s work on IoT. One in-person meeting and one conference call per year.