IoT to overtake cloud computing as primary industry technology

14 October 2021 | Saf Malik

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Investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to overtake cloud computing, next-generation security, big data analytics and other digital transformation technologies in the near future, research from Inmarsat has revealed.

Respondents from various industries indicated that there are plans to invest the greatest proportion of their IT budget on IoT projects over the next three years.

IoT accounted for an average of 7% of an organisation’s IT budget between 2017 and 2020 but this is set to rise to 10% in the coming years. Businesses across all industry sectors are now planning to spend an average of $2.8 million on their IoT investments through to 2024.

Planned investments in IoT are higher than other industry 4.0 technologies including cloud computing (9%), next-generation security (7.5%), big data analytics (7.3%), robotics (5.3%), machine learning (4.8%) and virtual reality (4.3%).

Mike Carter, president of Inmarsat Enterprise said: “Our latest research reveals IoT is now the primary Industry 4.0 technology in which companies are investing over the next three years.

“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.

The new research also reveals that the mainstream adoption of IoT is already making a difference in terms of operational cost-savings to many organisations. Respondents report that IoT projects currently save their organisations 9% of their yearly costs.

In the future, respondents expect to achieve an average of 15% cost savings in 12 months, rising to 22% in three years and 30% in five years.

However, the research indicates that there are variations in the planned levels of IoT investments between different industry sectors. Oil and gas companies intend to spend the most in IoT over the next three years ($3.2 million) followed by electrical utility companies ($3.1 million), transport and logistics businesses ($3 million), mining operators ($2.7 million) and agricultural businesses ($2 million).

“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,” Carter added.

“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 has already announced partnerships this month, announcing yesterday that it has offered a global satellite deal to Dutch satellite company Hiber.

The London-based firm says it will use its Elera IoT network to enable Hiber to bring IoT solutions and services to customers