Lack of ownership holding back manufacturers adoption of IoT

Posted on 3 Nov 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Uncertainty over who will drive an organisation’s Internet of Things (IoT) strategy is impeding adoption, according to a new global survey launched today by Infor.

The survey reveals that the transition to IoT is well underway for global manufacturers, with 10% of responding manufacturers claiming they already have an established IoT project underway.

The survey results can be found here and a full report on IoT adoption can be downloaded here.

A further 22% are either running a pilot or planning a project within the next 12 months, and over a third (38%) claim to be investigating its potential.

The research – which polled manufacturers across 12 different countries, including North America; UK; Germany; France; Italy; China, and India – also shows that IoT is the single biggest business priority for one in ten manufacturers across the world right now, with 28% putting it among their top three.

The benefits of IoT are well documented, with new revenue opportunities based on the monetisation of information billed as one of the most exciting.

However, it seems the majority (55%) of the manufacturers polled view cost savings from greater operational efficiencies as the greatest opportunity associated with the initiative, with a third envisaging competitive advantage through additional revenue from new services.

From two-way radios to smartphones, laptops to landlines, tablets to rugged handhelds no one is beyond reach in today's smart factory - image courtesy of DFC.
The benefits of IoT are well documented, with new revenue opportunities based on the monetisation of information billed as one of the most exciting.

Specific benefits, according to the research, are likely to come through productivity, which topped the list according to 20%, followed by better insight and decision-making (15%); greater utilisation of equipment and machinery (15%); new services (11%), and new revenue streams (13%).

However a lack of ownership is impeding adoption with respondents citing a total of nine different functions as the primary drivers of IoT.

These span a range of roles from the executive team (31%) and IT (28%), to marketing (5%); manufacturing operations (13%) and facilities (6%).

When asked about challenges to IoT implementation, respondents pointed to a lack of skills, unclear benefits and cost as the primary culprits.

Infor’s vice president of industry & solution strategy, Andrew Kinder commented: “Manufacturers, challenged by the constant need to improve productivity, see the competitive advantage available to them through exploiting IoT technologies.

“This research confirms that over half of manufacturers recognise the potential and are either piloting projects or actively investigating use-cases.

Kinder continued: “We expect more of these pilot projects to evolve into production-ready deployments over the next 18 months – which should send a warning message to the 43% of respondents who have yet to recognise the value.”

“But with only 10% claiming complete readiness – there is clearly an untapped opportunity ahead for companies with the right vision.

“Our advice would be to look at the device data you are already collecting – most plant equipment is already instrumented – and ask what questions could you answer if only you could collect it, apply analytics and distribute the insight quickly to the right decision maker?

“Even better, who outside your organisation would want to purchase the information only you can provide?   Then have this conversation with your technology provider – the pieces are all available to turn it into a reality.”