Companies 'Get' IoT But Struggle to Implement

Manufacturers understand the importance of deploying IoT, yet most companies are just at the beginning stages of deploying IoT.
April 21, 2017

According to a study by Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network , many companies are unprepared for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Yet the study results also indicate that most executives at those companies realize that the future of their business depends on it.

BPI NetworIoT, IoT, connectedness, networks

The study suggests that large-scale integrators and other channel partners will be among the biggest IIoT beneficiaries over the next several years. They will likely play a significant role in planning and implementation at many companies due to major internal gaps in the technical skills and management know-how needed to deploy and integrate IoT into operations and new products.

The study was promoted by responses BPI received when discussing emerging technology issues with major companies. “We conducted a number of studies on innovation, and IoT came up again and again, so we decided to do a deeper dive into the business value of the IoT,” Dave Murray, director of thought leadership at BPI Network told Design News. “We looked at where companies are in terms of adoption and planning IoT.”

The report, The Impact of Connectedness on Competitiveness,  was developed by the BPI Network in partnership with the CMO Council , the IoT Institute , and The Nerdery . The study was based on a global survey of 350 global executives and interviews with innovation leaders at large global enterprises, including Airbus, Balfour Beatty, Embraer, Philips Lighting, Whirlpool, LafargeHolcim, TVH, and Hitachi, among others.

Executives See IoT as a Major Impact on Industry

The results make it clear that a majority of corporate executives are beginning to understand the importance of IoT connectedness. A hearty 52% of executives at large enterprises—and 41% of executives at all companies—expect IIoT to have a significant or major impact on their industry within three years. Some 55% of all executives say IIoT is gaining adoption within their industries, including both pilots and larger-scale adoption.

BPI NetworIoT, IoT, connectedness, networks

While executives clearly understand the importance of IoT and IIoT, they are not necessarily jumping quickly to implement. “The top line is that expectations for the IoT are quite high, but most companies are not ready to compete in this area even if they believe the future of their business depends on getting smart in IoT,” said Murray. “We found gaps in the technical skills to take advantage of IoT. This sets up a classic situation of leaders versus laggards, where competitive forces rise up between those who get ahead of the phenomenon and those who lag behind.”

Just 1.5% of executives at large companies say they have a clear vision with implementation well underway. Another 57% are either beginning implementation, have pilots underway, or are committed and in the planning stages. Murray believes the gap between the recognition of the importance of IoT and the implementation will soon close. “We are experiencing the lull before the storm of IoT transformation. This is an opportunity for real competitive differentiation and advancement.” said Murray.

Focusing First on New Products

New products and services lead as the area most companies say they will focus their IoT investments (35%), followed by

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