What’s Next for Industrial IoT?

Technological Growth

The Internet of Things (IoT) has permeated our collective lives in recent years. From app-driven consumer convenience to factory operations and beyond, there is almost no sector that hasn’t felt some level of IoT influence.

A positive outlook does not always yield results for industrial IoT projects

Economic expectations are positive, and with the number of connected “things” projected to hit more than 75 billion by 2025, business spending on IoT technology could easily reach $1.2 trillion well before that time.

Several things are driving this growth; first, the cost of manufacturing the devices themselves is going down. The networks that the devices connect to are becoming more powerful and more reliable, enabling more interaction between “things,” and driving more meaningful insights.

But despite the optimism surrounding these numbers, Cisco reports that three-quarters of all IoT projects are doomed to failure. Of these, 60 percent stall out at the proof of concept phase. Only about a quarter of all IoT projects that are seen through to the end are actually considered to be successful, and a full one-third was deemed a complete failure.

Why IoT projects fail

In its report, Cisco identified reasons that IoT projects fail. Pivotal to the conversation were two key aspects:

  1. Lack of interdisciplinary collaboration

Business decision makers and IT decision makers have entirely different outlooks on what makes for a successful IoT initiative. Statistically, the failure of a project often points to a lack of collaboration between the two factions. An IT-focused culture that stemmed from the top down was helpful to the process, while some companies struggled to apply sufficient expertise to the project, resulting in delays, quality, barriers to integration, and budgets running beyond the original projections.

  1. Cybersecurity shortcomings

While the most public IoT security disasters have involved consumer goods, the reality is that it only takes one insecure device to bring down an entire network. In the IIoT realm, this is concerning because IIoT ecosystems often straddle several domains, making them more vulnerable to malicious attacks. While the industry is responding to these concerns with scalable threat defense systems that leverage machine learning, companies who are developing solutions must ensure they are focusing on eliminating all weak points from the system prior to deployment.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger

Despite these challenges and their occasional failure to launch, most companies agree that they were able to glean valuable insights from the process, leading to more focused and accelerated investment in IoT and IIoT.

Just some of the ways in which IoT can improve industrial and business processes include:

Reduces costs

IoT insights help to streamline the manufacturing process, reducing waste from end-to-end and hence reducing the costs associated with producing a product.

Improves efficiency

IoT improves efficiency in many ways. Predictive maintenance prevents downtime and optimizes human resources, while automated processes eliminate errors in accounting, inventory control, and more.

Supports energy conservation

Monitoring energy and power use at every stage of the manufacturing process allows companies to reduce their spending and shrink their carbon footprint.

In conclusion, though Industrial IoT may still be at an early stage in its evolution, greater insights are leading to improved efficiencies and reduction of risk. If you would like to learn more about how IoT can improve your business operations, reach out today.

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