8 Insights from the 2021 State of Indoor Intelligence Report

February 24, 2021 by Priya Patel
Read in 9 Minutes

A few weeks ago, we released the results of our research into the state of indoor intelligence. After a year of immense change, we were curious how indoor intelligence technology was shaping, and being shaped by, the global shift in digital transformation. We surveyed 143 professionals, 72 of whom self-identified as leaders (directors, VPs, C-suite, Founders, and owners) of functions including finance, executive management, operations, IT and engineering. Our respondents came from both the private and public sectors and represented organizations from a wide array of industries, largely in North America.

We sought to understand their perspectives and priorities when it comes to indoor intelligence technologies like indoor mapping, indoor positioning, indoor security and indoor analytics. Through our research, we uncovered many interesting and invaluable insights into how organizations across various industries are using and implementing these location-aware technologies, and in doing so, identified the key influencers striving for innovation within their organizations.

Here are some of the interesting insights garnered from our research into the state of indoor intelligence in 2021.

1. 51% of technology companies prefer cloud-based indoor intelligence solutions

According to our survey, more than half of the respondents from technology companies indicated a strong preference for cloud-based indoor intelligence solutions. Of all the organizations that indicated a preference for cloud-based indoor intelligence solutions, 37% were technology companies, followed closely by transportation, manufacturing, warehousing and logistics at 24%.  Finance and corporate services, healthcare, and education rounded out the remaining industries. 

The technology sector may be leading in cloud-based service adoption because they tend to operate in a more agile way, are less restricted by regulatory requirements, have a deeper understanding of how cloud computing works, and are always looking for ways to innovate and surpass the status quo.

2. Manufacturing, government, and retail rely on implementing on-premises based solutions

Whether an organization decides to use cloud-based or on-premises solutions, data security is always a chief concern. For many organizations in highly regulated industries, the decision has potentially already been made for them as to where they can house their services and data.

For implementing strictly on-premises solutions, the top industries included manufacturing and warehousing (17%), government (17%), and retail and consumer goods (17%). Government agencies typically require on-premises solutions due to regulatory requirements around security and data protection, but it is interesting that the same share of respondents from manufacturing and warehousing as well as the retail and consumer goods sector had similar needs.

3. Technology sector leads in hybrid solution adoption

Hybrid solutions combine aspects of on-premises and cloud computing to offer the best of both worlds. Hybrid solutions provide the scalability and agility of a cloud-based solution with the regulatory security compliance often needed by sectors that handle Personally Identifiable Information (PII). 

The top industries that indicated a preference for implementing hybrid solutions included technology (30%) at the forefront, followed by organizations in retail and consumer goods (14%), healthcare (12%) and education (12%). 

While many industries had clear preferences for whether their solution was cloud-based, on-premises or hybrid, there was also a spread of industries that indicated that they had no preference at all. For those that didn’t have a preference, the top industries included manufacturing and warehousing (19%), finance and corporate services (11%), government (11%), healthcare (11%), and education (11%). This would suggest that the strength and capability of the solution is of nearly equal importance to its data housing structure.

4. Operations managers are more likely than executive leadership to be involved in indoor intelligence initiatives

Through our survey, we found that of the respondents who indicated that they were involved in making decisions around indoor intelligence technology within their organization, 42% were managers, whereas 26% were directors, only 15% were members of the C-suite, and Vice Presidents accounted for only 11%. Across organizations, managers and directors are most directly involved with decision making when it comes to implementing indoor intelligence technology. 

Chart indicating the distribution of operational roles involved in indoor intelligence decision making.

When we broke it down further to evaluate indoor intelligence involvement by organizational function, we found that 22% of influencers were in operations, 22% were in executive management, 15% were in IT, 13% were in engineering, 12% were in sales, and the remaining 12% represented other functions including human resources, marketing, real estate, and security.  

With operations and executive management taking the lead on indoor intelligence initiatives, IT is underrepresented. Organizations would be wise to ensure that IT leaders and other functions have a seat at the table to ensure that these solutions are being used to improve operations for all aspects of an organization to increase ROI.

Chart indicating the distribution of operational functions involved in indoor intelligence decision making.

5. In SMBs, managers are more likely to believe indoor intelligence technology is important to remaining competitive

In our research, we asked our survey respondents how important indoor intelligence technology was to their organization’s ability to remain competitive within their industries. 

For organizations with less than 1,000 employees, the respondents that were most likely to indicate that it was important or critical to their ability to remain competitive were managers (31%), directors (29%), and C-suite members (24%). This is particularly interesting as it could imply that managers, who are often working at a close level with customers and operations, are potentially identifying how new technologies can support their initiatives but may not have buy-in from their senior executives. 

Chart indicating the distribution of operational roles in SMBs, most likely to see value in indoor intelligence technologies.

When we dove deeper into the data, we found that the top three industries that identified the value of indoor intelligence in remaining competitive included technology (31%), manufacturing and warehousing (24%), and finance and corporate services (7%). 

6. In larger organizations, managers were once again the most likely to believe in the power of indoor intelligence technology in remaining competitive

For companies with more than 1,000 employees, the roles that believe that indoor intelligence solutions are important or critical to their ability to remain competitive in their industry included managers (37%), directors (21%), and VPs (16%). 

Chart indicating the distribution of operational roles in enterprise organizations, most likely to see value in indoor intelligence technologies.

7. 71% of SMBs identified business intelligence as their top use case

For companies with less than 1,000 employees, the top three use cases that organizations had already implemented, or have plans to deploy this year, included business intelligence (71%), job site worker safety (62%), and asset tracking (61%). 

For business intelligence, the technology industry accounted for 29% of the total respondents. The technology industry once again leads in terms of use case adoption. The technology industry also accounted for 38% of the organizations that were deploying asset tracking and job site worker safety solutions.

8. Larger companies and enterprises take the lead on keeping employees safe 

For companies with more than 1,000 employees, the top three use cases that had been, or were going to be, deployed were job site worker safety (76%), business intelligence (75%), and building energy efficiency and facilities management automation (71%). 

For job site worker safety, the largest contributing industry was technology - it accounted for 25% of the total responses. The technology sector also leads for organizational adoption of business intelligence, accounting for 28% of the total, with building energy efficiency and facilities management solutions at 27%. 


How is your organization using indoor intelligence technology to remain competitive in 2021? Download the State of Indoor Intelligence 2021 today to find out how your competitors are using location-aware technologies, then talk to our team about how you can get ahead.


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Priya Patel is a Digital Marketing Coordinator at Inpixon with immersive experience in the banking, technology, and metals industries. When she's not creating indoor intelligence content and managing Inpixon's social media channels, she can be found doing yoga, hiking, and baking.