There has been a rapid increase in the maturity level of organisations adopting the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Research findings by Inmarsat, drawn from multiple industries, also show that Covid-19 has demonstrated the importance of IoT to their businesses, with many accelerating IoT deployments in response to the pandemic.
According to the research, IoT adoption has seen huge progress from 2020 to 2021. More than three quarters (77%) of the organisations surveyed have now fully deployed at least one IoT project, with 41% having achieved this in the 12-month period from the second quarter of 2020. Of the remaining 23% of respondents that have not yet fully deployed IoT projects, all are either currently 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 twelve 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 negatively impacted their ability to operate, than those yet to, demonstrating a link between IoT and business continuity during the pandemic.
Additionally, over 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, says: “The rapid increase in IoT deployments over the last few years highlights the considerable progress global industry has made to overcome some of the world’s most challenging forces.
“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 (IIoT), in order 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.
“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,” Carter adds. “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.”