Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) deployments have accelerated in recent years. The sharpest rise occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, when IIoT adoption surged after the second quarter of 2020. As of 2021, 77 percent of companies surveyed report having at least one active IoT project.
This dramatic increase has brought fundamental changes to companies. Here are current industrial IoT trends within companies, and a glimpse into what we can expect in the future.
IIoT has helped many companies remain resilient despite difficult circumstances.
The multi-country lockdowns enacted in response to COVID-19 brought a multitude of problems for companies. Staffing shortages, supply chain delays and shutdowns, and other logistical issues plagued—and still continue to affect—companies around the globe.
The silver lining for companies that embraced technology, particularly automation technology using IoT systems, was a reported boost in efficiency and resilience compared to similar companies that did not move toward IoT. Eighty percent of companies plan to increase their IoT presence in the near future. Early adopters have a distinctive edge over their competition.
Companies that use IoT in manufacturing, cloud computing, data analytics, and other applications claim an average nine percent reduction in their annual costs as a direct result of adopting IoT automation.
How can companies improve their use of IoT in 2021 and beyond?
Widespread adoption of IoT is not without challenges. In particular, employees need more time to learn the skills necessary to support a robust IoT system with many new endpoints and a significant increase in data transmitted over these networks.
There is far more than just a risk of inefficiency or data loss from improper management. With every new IoT connection, another point of entry arises for potential bad actors to exploit. And the sheer amount of information accessible within these networks makes an unsecured enterprise IoT network a prize for an accomplished hacker. Everything from personal employee information to the proprietary inner workings of a company could pass between endpoints. Because of this, it is absolutely critical that companies developing IoT projects properly train employees in cybersecurity while training them in other, more routine skills.
With the proper skills and support, companies experienced with IoT can learn to manage the ups and downs of market and supply chain disruptions and remain resilient and efficient in the face of future crises.