IIoT adoption is accelerating in response to COVID-19

IIoT adoption is accelerating in response to COVID-19 Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter (@Gadget_Ry) or Mastodon (@gadgetry@techhub.social)

Research from satellite giant Inmarsat has found a rapid acceleration in IIoT deployments in response to COVID-19.

Over three-quarters (77%) of the surveyed organisations have now deployed at least one IoT project. 41 percent of those businesses did so in the twelve-month period from the second quarter of 2020, a period that will enter the history books as when COVID-19 gripped the world.

Aside from the deaths and long-term health complications that COVID-19 caused, the virus also brought economic misery. Supply chains, in particular, were devastated from lockdowns and have yet to fully recover.

Businesses that adopted the automation and efficiency improvements provided by IIoT solutions were impacted less than counterparts that have been more resistant to embracing digitalisation. As the research suggests, many businesses rushed to deploy IIoT solutions in the wake of COVID-19.

84 percent of the respondents said they have either accelerated or plan to accelerate their adoption of IoT in response to COVID-19 challenges.

Mike Carter, President of Inmarsat Enterprise, said:

“The rapid increase in IoT deployments over the last few years highlights the considerable progress global industry has made to overcome some of the world’s most challenging forces. It is particularly interesting, though logical, that Covid-19 has further catalysed businesses to increase their reliance on Industry 4.0 technologies, and particularly the industrial Internet of Things, in order to maintain business continuity. Those businesses implementing IoT technologies ahead of their competition and across their value chains are those who stand to win in the long-term. 

While our findings point to IoT driving significant uplifts in efficiency, sustainability and safety across global supply chains, there are areas where organisations can make improvements to draw the optimum benefits from the technology. Connectivity, data management, skills shortages, security threats and investment levels remain challenges as the world’s production and supply chains become increasingly digitalised and intertwined.”

However, like many industries are finding, skill gaps are remaining a challenge. 37 percent of respondents cited a lack of in-house skills as a concern and 50 percent are in need of additional cybersecurity skills.

Businesses are planning to invest the greatest proportion of their IT budgets on IoT projects over the next five years.

(Credit: Inmarsat)

Currently, respondents say their use of the IoT is saving their business around nine percent of their costs per year. That’s expected to increase to 15 percent in 12 months, 22 percent in three years, and 30 percent in five years.

A full copy of Inmarsat’s research can be found here (registration required)

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