A report out today has found that an increasing number of businesses are exploring the economic opportunities that will be created by the Internet of Things (IoT) concept.

The IoT revolution is set to come about as an increasing number of devices come online, from kitchen fridges to road signs. Objects such as these will include sensors that gather information which can then be transferred over the internet to a central computer system or another device. 

The 32-page report  conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of Cambridge-based IoT chip designer, ARM  found that 75 percent of business leaders are actively researching opportunities set to come about through the IoT.

The report, titled The Internet of Things Business Index: A quiet revolution gathers pace, also found that 30 percent of business leaders feel that the IoT will unlock new revenue opportunities, while 29 percent believe it will inspire new working practices, and 23 percent believe it will eventually change the model of how they operate.

The study found that European businesses are ahead of their global counterparts in the research and planning phases of implementing IoT. Meanwhile, manufacturing is the leading sector when it comes to research and implementation of IoT technologies, driven in part by the need for real-time information to optimise productivity. One in four manufacturing companies already has a live IoT system in place. 

“The self-stocking intelligent fridge is a step closer to becoming an everyday reality,” said James Chambers, editor of the report. "Conversations about IoT are clearly moving on. Two in five executives are now telling us that they discuss IoT regularly. Whether we will all end up wearing clothes connected to the internet remains to be seen – but it’s hard to think of any business that can’t be part of the IoT revolution.”

However, a few steps need to be taken if the IoT revolution is to really take off. The report suggests that data silos need to be removed and common standards need to be established in order to allow the IoT to scale to a size that will allow it to operate across all markets successfully.

According to the report, the top five concerns that companies have around the IoT are: a lack of employee skills/knowledge; a lack of senior management knowledge and commitment; products or services that don’t have an obvious IoT element to them; immaturity of industry standards around IoT; and high costs of required investment in IoT infrastructure.

ARM CEO Simon Segars claimed that the IoT will improve the management of cities, health services, environment and education systems.

The 779 respondents came from 71 countries across Europe (29 percent), North America (29 percent), Asia-Pacific (30 percent) and rest of the world (12 percent).

ARM acquired IoT software vendor Sensinode in August to support its efforts in the space.