Christopher Schorling: Finding Europe's Edge in the Internet of Things

As the Internet of Things matures in its scope, Europe appears to lead the US in testing and deploying the new technology. Christopher Schorling, a partner in Bain's Technology practice, shares why Europe's focus on quality and security in a complex regulatory environment may be an advantage in the future.

Read the Bain Brief: Finding Europe's Edge in the Internet of Things

Read the transcript below.

CHRISTOPHER SCHORLING: It seems like the US technology providers have captured a lot of mindshare in Internet of Things. However, our research actually shows that European companies are quite advanced as well, if not ahead. So we found that, actually, they are planning to spend a larger part of their IT budgets on Internet of Things, compared to US companies. And they're actually also more ambitious in the number of use cases they want to deploy. Over 25%—a quarter—of the European companies are planning to deploy [multiple] new use cases over the next couple of years, vs. just 16% on the US side.

But also the character of the investments that are being made are different. So the European companies are looking more at improving the quality of their product and service offerings, [while] the US [companies] seem to be looking more at cost reductions through using analytics in the IoT process.

Another important difference is that the attention is much higher on the European side towards security and privacy. And we actually believe that this may turn out to be an important advantage going forward. As the Internet of Things matures, and solutions become more prevalent everywhere, the ability to manage security and compliance in complex regulatory environments like in Europe may actually be a significant advantage. European companies actually hold a competitive advantage, and the next few years will actually determine whether they will lose those hard-won gains, or whether they can actually expand and sustain that lead.

Read the Bain Brief: Finding Europe's Edge in the Internet of Things