Almost all companies in the manufacturing, transportation, and oil and gas industries are working to harness the power of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), according to a new survey by IoT software provider Bsquare.
Close to nine in 10 respondents said their organizations have adopted IIoT solutions, and nearly the same number believe those solutions are either very or extremely effective. More than 98% are considering an IIoT implementation in the next year.
Despite the near-universal adoption (or planned adoption) of the IIoT, most of the current implementations remain at the low end of the maturity scale. This signals that there’s plenty of room for growth and that companies aren’t yet getting the full ROI benefit of their IIoT projects.
More than three-quarters of the respondents are using the IoT for data connectivity and data forwarding, which Bsquare considers the least mature type of implementation, while only slightly more than one-quarter are using it for automation, which, for most industries, is the most mature type of implementation.
The automation level, where the IIoT “orchestrates automated, complex actions across multiple internal systems” is also the sweet spot where industrial organizations can achieve the best ROI value, according to Bsquare. Based on recent sales data, it looks like more companies are looking to get in on this benefit. The Association for Advancing Automation reported record sales of automation technology in the first nine months of 2017. Among the fastest-growing categories were sensors and feedback devices (critical components of IIoT systems), which saw growth of 20%.
The number one objective in using the IIoT is to gain better visibility into and control over equipment, respondents said. More than 90% said that device health is a critical driver, suggesting that predictive maintenance is a top priority. Companies are also using the IIoT to improve logistics, reduce operating costs, and increase production volume.
According to the survey results, these efforts are working — more than 90% said the IIoT has “an important positive impact on their industry and their organizations.”
Looking forward, nearly 100% of respondents plan to invest the same or more in IIoT solutions in the next year. The top planned uses are data analytics and real-time monitoring, and most of the solutions will be implemented using a cloud-based platform.
Are you considering a new IIoT implementation next year? Discover three opportunities and challenges of the IIoT and learn why you should take your plant and process design into the cloud.