IIoT to overtake cloud computing in Industry 4.0 says Inmarsat report

IIoT to overtake cloud computing in Industry 4.0 says Inmarsat report

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The Industrial IoT in the Time of Covid-19 survey by Inmarsat identifies IIoT as a key technology for Industry 4.0
By Nick Flaherty


Investment in the Internet of Things (IIoT) is set to overtake cloud computing, next generation security, big data analytics and other digital transformation technologies in the near future says a report by satellite operator Inmarsat.

Respondents for 450 companies in multiple industries reported plans to invest the greatest proportion of their IT budget on IoT projects over the next three years.

At 10 per cent per year, planned investments in IIoT are notably higher than those for other Industry 4.0 technologies, including cloud computing (9.0 per cent), next generation security (7.5 per cent), big data analytics (7.3 per cent), robotics (5.3 per cent), machine learning (4.8 per cent) and virtual reality (4.3 per cent).

IoT has reached a high level of maturity across most organisations, with businesses across all industry sectors now planning to spend an average of $2.8 million on their IoT investments through to 2024.

While IIoT accounted for an average of 7 per cent of an organisation’s IT budget between 2017 and 2020, businesses are planning to spend 10 per cent of their IT budgets on IIoT projects over the next three years.

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IIoT projects currently save organisations 9 per cent of the yearly costs, but this is expected to rise to an average of 15 per cent cost-savings in 12 months’ time and an ambitious 22 per cent in three years and 30 per cent in five years’ time.

There are variations in the planned levels of IoT investments between different industry sectors. Oil and gas firms intend to invest the most in IoT over the next three years (an average of $3.2m), followed by electrical utilities companies ($3.1m), transport and logistics businesses (£3m), mining operators ($2.7m) and smart agriculture at $2m.

Next: IIoT research

“Our latest research reveals IoT is now the primary Industry 4.0 technology in which companies are investing over the next three years,” said Mike Carter, President of Inmarsat Enterprise. “The emergence of IoT as an investment priority for businesses, and the increasing level of cost-savings they expect IoT to deliver in the years ahead, demonstrates how well-established a technology IoT has become across multiple industries. However, there are still noticeable differences between sectors and several significant areas for all organisations on which to improve to draw optimum benefits from the technology, namely: securing reliable connectivity, improving data management and addressing their IoT skills gaps and security concerns.

“Despite already seeing rapidly increasing levels of IoT adoption, Covid-19 has emphasised the importance of Industry 4.0 technologies like IoT for business continuity. With the world’s production and supply chains becoming increasingly interconnected and digitalised, those companies producing digital twins of their supply chains and sharing data, are the ones reaping the benefits.

Inmarsat points to its Elera narrowband network for connecting billions of devices in the IIoT, and there are multiple low earth orbit satellite operators looking at this market.


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