A majority of enterprises expect the need for machine-to-machine services to increase over the coming year, according to an Infonetics survey of IT purchase decision-makers at 163 organizations in North America that are procuring M2M services or will trial or deploy them by the end of 2014.

M2M services, also known as the Internet of Things, allow wireless and wired systems to communicate with devices that collect and provide data for analysis. Infonetics’ study, “M2M Strategies by Vertical: North American Enterprise Survey,” also shows that security is a top concern among survey respondents, as are regulatory issues and the complexity of M2M solutions. According to enterprises surveyed, network quality is the top criteria for M2M service provider selection.

“So much of the discussion surrounding M2M has been focused on the number of expected M2M connections by 2020, but whether it is 20 billion, 30 billion or 50 billion, there’s no question that number is going to be huge,” Godfrey Chua, directing analyst for M2M and connected world at Infonetics Research, said in a statement.

“We asked enterprises what’s driving their decisions to adopt M2M services, and the number-one factor is the never-ending pursuit of competitive advantage,” Chua said. “This speaks to the need for M2M services to deliver a strong business case. As technologies continue to evolve and prices come down, enterprises will increasingly turn to M2M to lower operating costs, differentiate their brands, and create new revenue opportunities.”

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