Blog post
June 25, 2019

What to expect from the Internet of Things in 2018

The Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform the way we work and live, saving money, time and resources. We’re about to see an explosion in growth as companies finally begin to deliver on its promises. Here’s what you can expect from IoT in 2018.

The convergence of the digital and physical worlds enabled by IoT is already being embraced by businesses making use of the 16 billion connected devices. By 2025, Cisco estimates there will over 80 billion IoT endpoints. That’s more than ten for each person on the planet.

The Internet of Things (IoT) bridges the physical and digital worlds, bringing them closer together. In 2018, Forrester claims there will be a shift from ‘experiment to business scale’ as businesses begin to harness the power of IoT at scale.

According to GE research, cost savings are the biggest driver for 69% of European businesses forging ahead with IoT. IoT isn’t simply about introducing new technology. It’s a process that involves using data and insight captured from the billions of connections to drive business change.

What can IoT do?

“At the center of everything we do is a product or a thing. You are either making that thing or you’re connecting it.” Says Richard Spencer, Isentia’s CMO. IoT can be used to help businesses reduce manufacturing and operating costs, saving money through process. But it can do much more, Spencer says, offering businesses the “opportunity for true business transformation.”

Process reengineering using IoT can help businesses move ahead. Smarter, leaner and faster manufacturing has seen 82% of businesses who use IoT experience efficiencies, 49% having fewer product defects and 45% seeing increased customer satisfaction.

Rolls Royce collects data from 25 sensors embedded in its massive Trent engines to help it predict potential failures before they happen. In a business where margins are tight and downtime can destroy profits, the organisations Engine Health Management (EHM) team is using IoT to proactively change their business model.

A huge amount of data captured by Microsoft’s Azure IoT suite can be used to improve the relationship Rolls Royce has with its customers. They’re strategically deploying IoT to gain a competitive advantage by delivering value.

The insights gained from detailed operational information can be used to help airlines operate more efficiently, reducing their fuel costs and carbon footprint.

Stepping into the digital future

We’ve seen modest pace of adoption for IoT but things are about to speed up dramatically. In 2018, we will start to see intelligent IoT products and solutions across all business verticals as business step into the digital future.


Businesses will increasingly use IoT to improve processes and procedures, saving time, money and resources. Centralised monitoring and predictive maintenance of manufacturing equipment can reduce downtime for manufacturers like Airbus, working across their European production facilities.

Travel & Hospitality

A cheap and simple RFID tag in a pallet is all that’s necessary for DHL to track its progress through its global distribution network.  Increased efficiency helps to save costs, with real-time data shared with customers increasing satisfaction.

Life sciences

Real-time monitoring through IoT technology can be used to help diabetes patients adhere to medical treatment regimes. Notifications can be used to keep patients, their families and carers informed and aware of what has been taken and when.

Retail and consumer goods

Wal-Mart throws away US$40 million worth of food every year. IoT technology is helping the food giant to reduce waste. A cheap sensor on a freezer door that can alert a member of staff if it’s left open can save hundreds of dollars in lost produce. Across their entire retail estate it can save millions.

IoT Security

The march of progress isn’t always inexorable; there are barriers to over-come. The biggest concern businesses and customers have with IoT is often security. Every endpoint is a potential access point to hackers. As interconnectivity increases, so does the potential impact of a hack. It’s not just business that are worried – 66% of those interviewed in a UK survey expressing high levels of concern about the security of their connected devices.

The Internet of things Security Foundation has suggested a series of principles for IoT security. Adoption isn’t mandatory, but as IoT develops at pace the systems, procedures and processes will need to become standardised. It’s likely we’ll see a greater push in 2018 for an IoT standard, and with it a greater focus on the security challenges posed by the billions of connected devices coming IoT.

Closer collaboration to solve security issues could help tackle a perennial problem that affects new tech: interoperability. Management consultants McKinsey estimate that 60% of the value that IoT systems may create could be locked by a lack of interoperability. In 2018 we’re likely to see the coalescence around platforms and the emergence of universal standards that can help to accelerate the adoption of IoT, and ensure that this value is captured.

Blueprint for change

The potential for IoT is incredible, but new implementations aren’t always successful. In fact, research has found that 60% of deployments don’t even make it off the drawing board.

2018 is the year that organisations need to start considering the full potential of IoT for products and processes, thinking more strategically about how it could impact and improve the way they do business.

The decision for businesses in 2018 isn’t about whether to start exploring IoT. “Either you are all in or your competition is going to eat your lunch” Spencer says. “It’s going to be everywhere.”

Richard Spencer, CMO, Isentia


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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published anti-greenwashing guidelines for businesses making environmental and sustainability claims. Despite these efforts, media coverage of greenwashing, particularly focusing on senate inquiries and regulatory court cases against major offenders, continues to expose brands and industries stretching the truth in their sustainability messaging. This exposure is causing a growing disconnect between consumers and corporations, as audiences increasingly call out misleading practices and question the authenticity of corporate sustainability claims.Isentia’s sister brand, Pulsar conducted recent research exploring media and public discourse around sustainability. Part of this report examines how greenwashing is covered in the news and on social media, particularly in relation to the broader sustainability discourse. Let’s investigate those themes in more depth here.

Social media data is decreasing while online news activity re-engages, indicating incident-led conversations. Regulatory bodies like the ACCC, and state and federal governments are tackling greenwashing by identifying major corporate offenders and their misleading actions, such as 'recyclable' packaging, carbon credit misuse, lack of transparency in fossil fuel investments, and exploitation of government climate programs. Audience conversations often align with news coverage on these matters.
The term in Australia particularly gained traction among social audiences around November 2022 when the UN called out the Australian government for allowing the use of carbon offsets in corporate emissions reduction strategies. News of the apparent collusion between the government and large corporations has caused public faith and trust in both to dwindle. As these stories emerge, Australia's positive sustainability impact on the international stage is significantly undermined.


When we look at which sectors are most discussed within the greenwashing topic, energy, finance, and food take the lead.

Much of the discussion regarding the energy and finance sectors emphasises their interconnectedness, particularly the investment by financial institutions, including super funds, in environmentally harmful industries. Despite some super funds claiming to offer options that avoid unsustainable investments, reports have revealed that they collectively hold millions of shares in the fossil fuel industry. 

Many industries are being criticised for using carbon credits, such as REDD+ offsets, to appear more sustainable. Advertising, marketing, and public relations also play a significant role in promoting misleading sustainability initiatives, thereby contributing to greenwashing. However, stakeholders are aware that the advertising and communications industries have a huge impact on the profitability and success of an industry or product. The European Union’s Product Environmental Footprint classification system, for example, has been criticised by Australia’s wool industry for being unfair to wool products and for greenwashing. This, they argue, not only undermines the pursuit of a green transition within fashion but also damages a vital industry.

Mercer stands out as a most mentioned brand within the topic of greenwashing. This is due to ASIC pursuing a civic penalty case against them which alleged they misled members about its sustainability investments. This is groundbreaking for audiences to witness as it would be the first time the consumer watchdog has taken a company to court for alleged greenwashing.


Much of the conversation focuses on misinformation and lack of transparency in communication and marketing. Certifications like Fair Trade are being questioned, particularly for products like chocolate, and eco-certification for farmed salmon. It particularly muddies the waters for political figures when they get entangled with brands coming under scrutiny for such greenwashing.


Furthermore, some companies feature in the media conversation due to their involvement in a senate enquiry initiated in March 2023, with a report expected by June 28th this year. 

Analysis of the ANZ reveals a shift in mindset, with consumers emphasising individual actions for solutions like composting or guerilla campaigns on mislabelled environmentally friendly salmon products. Grassroots and individual activism leading to actions like divestment from conflicting companies. Community groups like uni student clubs showcase how groups with shared values and experiences can make noise and incite change with how universities invest. However, there are ongoing debates as to whether it’s the role of sectors like higher education or Super Funds to prioritise the environmental implications of their decisions.

The rise in curiosity around greenwashing highlights the growing consumer demand for transparency and genuine sustainability from brands. As regulatory scrutiny and public awareness increase, brands must ensure their sustainability claims are genuine or face reputation damage.

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The Eco-Spin Cycle: how brand’s sustainability claims come out in the wash

Regulators are cracking down on corporate greenwashing, but what does media discussion reveal about its impact on brand-consumer relations?

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As the spotlight on sustainability intensifies year by year, it has become a focal point for legislators, media entities, and audiences worldwide.

This dynamic environment demands that brands and institutions elevate their standards in messaging and actions, holding them accountable like never before. For professionals in the PR & Comms realm, it is imperative to grasp not only how sustainability is being discussed but also the potential pitfalls, such as greenwashing, and gain a profound understanding of the diverse audiences receiving these messages.

Explore over 20 beautifully crafted pages of data visualisation that illuminate audience insights sourced from social media, news outlets, and search engines. Gain valuable perspectives on how one of the defining issues of our time is being discussed and understood.

Our exploration of this crucial topic delves deep into uncovering insights that are indispensable for crafting effective strategies, both tactical and long-term:

-Unraveling trends in the sustainability conversation

-Assessing brand & industry reputations

-Navigating greenwashing & misinformation

-Understanding the diverse audiences of sustainability

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Sustainability: Mapping the Media & Public Conversations

From accusations of greenwashing to the role of misinformation, we explore the comms landscape around sustainability.

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