Industrial IoT rapidly adopted by global supply chains in agriculture, electricity utilities, mining, oil and gas, transport and logistics.
New research by Inmarsat reveals a rapid increase in the maturity level in organisations adopting the industrial IoT since the start of the pandemic.
Respondents drawn from multiple industries also reported that Covid-19 showed the importance of IoT to their businesses, with many accelerating IoT deployments as a result.
According to the research, IoT adoption has seen huge progress from 2020 to 2021. Some 77% of the organisations surveyed have fully deployed at least one IoT project, with 41% having done so in the 12-month period starting in the second quarter of 2020.
Of the remaining 23% of respondents that have not yet fully deployed IoT projects, all are either trialling it, or plan to deploy or trial at least one IoT project in the next 18 months.
A further 84% of respondents indicated they have accelerated or they intend to accelerate the adoption of IoT in response to challenges related to Covid-19.
This figure includes 47% who have already accelerated IoT adoption to respond to Covid-19, 24% who will accelerate over the next 12 months and 14% who will accelerate beyond the next 12 months.
The 47% who have already accelerated IoT adoption are less likely to state that Covid-19 has damaged their ability to operate, than those who are yet to deploy IoT, demonstrating a link between IoT and business continuity during the pandemic, according to Inmarsat.
More than half (52%) of respondents indicated that business and operational challenges related to Covid-19 have underlined the importance of IoT.
Mike Carter, President of Inmarsat Enterprise said, “It is particularly interesting, though logical, that Covid-19 has further catalysed businesses to increase their reliance on Industry 4.0 technologies, and particularly the industrial Internet of Things…to maintain business continuity.
“Those businesses implementing IoT technologies ahead of their competition and across their value chains are those who stand to win in the long-term.
Room for improvement
He added, “While our findings point to IoT driving significant uplifts in efficiency, sustainability and safety across global supply chains, there are areas where organisations can make improvements to draw the optimum benefits from the technology.
“Connectivity, data management, skills shortages, security threats and investment levels remain challenges as the world’s production and supply chains become increasingly digitalised and intertwined.