New survey finds while the majority of executives expect big things from the Industrial Internet of Things they’re not quite yet prepared.
The Industrial Internet of Things holds enormous promise to transform business in how they manage their manufacturing processes, streamline their supply chains and directly service their customers. But, to date, that’s all it has largely been: a promise. According to a survey-based report released today by the BPI Network, there is broad consensus that the Industrial Internet of Things will provide significant value in the years ahead, but few organizations are ready to capitalize on the Industrial Internet of Things.
The report, “The Impact of Connectedness on Competiveness,” conducted by the BPI Network in conjunction with the CMO Council, Penton’s IoT Institute and The Nerdery. Based on an international survey of roughly 350 executives, the report includes insights from companies such as Airbus, Balfour Beatty, Embraer, Philips Lighting, GE, Whirlpool, LafargeHolcim, TVH, Hitachi and more.
Some statistics and predictions cited in the report are staggering: The business consultancy Accenture predicts that the Industrial Internet of Things will be incremental to the global economy to the tune of $14.2 trillion by the year 2030. GE, meanwhile, estimates the Industrial Internet of Things will improve its manufacturing productivity by 1 percent. And according to Juniper Research, there will be more than 46 billion connected Internet of Things by 2021—a 200 percent increase from last year.
But at the same time, executives are skittish. “We really don’t know what our long-term strategy should be,” said Dave Murray, head of thought leadership for the BPI Network, in an interview with DevOps.com. “We haven’t thought through how this is going to change our business models. We don’t have the talent, in terms of you know, technology integration, and data integration, and analytics, to get the job done.
“I think there is a certain amount of concern of falling behind,” he added. “I think a lot of companies are just starting to incrementally experiment and are starting primarily with their own products. For instance, equipment manufacturers are integrating sensor technology into their products to improve uptime, and preventative and predictive maintenance.”
Top findings in the report include:
- Fifty-two percent of executives at large enterprises and 41 percent of executives at all companies expect the Industrial Internet of Things to have a significant or major impact on their industry within three years.
- Some 55 percent of all executives say the Industrial Internet of Things is gaining adoption within their industries, including both pilots and larger-scale adoption.
- However, just 1.5 percent of executives at large companies say they have a “clear vision with implementation well underway,” while another 57 percent are either beginning implementation, have pilots underway or are committed and in the planning stages.
- New products and services lead as the area most companies say they will focus their Industrial Internet of Things investments (35 percent), followed by customer touch points (29 percent), and manufacturing (23 percent).
- More cost-efficient operations (47 percent), product and service differentiation (36 percent) and improved customer engagement and satisfaction (34 percent) are seen as the top benefits of the Industrial Internet of Things.
- Security and data privacy are seen as top concerns by executives, followed by the cost and complexity of Industrial Internet of Things adoption and the need for new management and workforce skills and training.
While most of the executives interviewed, 62 percent, see the Industrial Internet of Things as a rising competitive necessity and are very interested in embracing the Industrial Internet of Things for their business—yet only 9 percent of respondents said industry peers are aggressively pursuing adoption.
Finally, one of the most surprising, if not startling, aspects of this survey is the finding that less than 2 percent of those surveyed said that they have a clear strategic vision with implementation underway. “I think what we’re going to see is that adoption is going to be incremental,” said Murray. “It can’t happen all at once. They don’t have it figured out. They don’t have the skills and technologies in place to make it all happen, but they are starting to implement and I think that [implementation] will just grow over time,” he said.