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Who’s Ready for Industrial IoT?

Study predicts smart embrace of operational connectedness will advance competitive advantage and category disruption.

Many companies aren’t ready for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), but most executives at those companies realize that the future of their business depends on it, according to a new study just released by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network.

The study also 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 new report, “The Impact of Connectedness on Competitiveness,” was developed by the BPI Network in partnership with the CMO Council, Penton’s IoT Institute and The Nerdery, a digital strategy, software engineering and design firm. The study was based on a global survey of some 350 global executives and interviews with innovation leaders at large global enterprises, including companies such as Airbus, Balfour Beatty, Embraer, Philips Lighting, Whirlpool, LafargeHolcim, TVH, Hitachi and others.

“Executives are telling us that IIoT technologies are about to play a significant role in business and industrial performance, delivering significant improvements in operational efficiency and uptime, as well as growth from new business models, products, services and customer experiences,” says Dave Murray, head of Thought Leadership for the BPI Network. “Nevertheless, less than 2% of large companies say they have a clear vision for how to move forward or have large-scale implementations underway. That dichotomy suggests we are experiencing the lull before the storm of IIoT transformation. This is an opportunity for real competitive differentiation and advancement.”

Among key findings of the IIoT survey:

  • 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.
  • However, just 1.5% of executives at large companies say they have a clear vision with implementation well under way, while another 57% are either beginning implementation, have pilots underway or are committed and in the planning stages.
  • New products and services lead as the area most companies say they will focus their IoT investments (35%), followed by customer touchpoints (29%), and manufacturing (23%).
  • More cost-efficient operations (47%), product and service differentiation (36%), and improved customer engagement and satisfaction (34%) are seen as the top benefits of IIoT.
  • Security and data privacy are seen as top concerns by executives, followed by the cost and complexity of IIoT adoption and the need for new management and workforce skills and training.
IIoT Readiness Lacking

Making the transformation to IIoT-enabled businesses will clearly require new skills and mindsets. Chief among those requirements, according to executives, are new technical skills (51%), better data integration and analytics capabilities (41%), and rethinking the business model (33%). Most executives, however, say their companies have significant gaps in these areas.

Some 31% of executives say their organizations face a “major skill gap” in their IIoT readiness, while another 31% say the talent gap is “large, but improving somewhat.” Twenty percent say their IoT skills are quickly improving, while another 7% believe they have most of the skills in place.

Similarly, just 12% give their company an “excellent” rating in their capacity to develop and deploy applications that utilize real-time insights and systems monitoring. Another 25% rate their capacity as good, while one-third say their corporation’s ability in this area is moderate and improving.

For more info, visit Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network.

Sources: Press materials received from the company.

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