New insights from the Industry of Things World Survey Report 2016
From January to March 2016, the Industry of Things World team gathered the opinions of over 1,000 cross-industry IoT & Industry 4.0 managers to gain insight into investments and opportunities, and identify trends. Maria Relaki, Portfolio Director at we.CONECT Global Leaders, the organizer of Industry of Things World conference, talks about the survey results.
An online survey by Industry of Things World, conducted from January to March 2016, gathered responses from over 1,200 Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 managers from industries such as information and communication technologies, automotive and transportation, and energy and power systems, among others. Its aim was to measure the actual impact of IoT on businesses today, gain insight into investment strategies, and determine industry trends.
“Over 67% of the respondents have IoT technologies in place or are planning to implement them in the next 12 months,” says Maria Relaki, Portfolio Director at we.CONECT Global Leaders. Relaki believes that a shift in thinking about these technologies is definitely taking place at the moment. “Companies have started to realize that IoT is something they need to do, otherwise they will be left behind by the competition.”
Shift in thinking
These numbers reveal a marked difference. Last year, the responses coming from Europe suggested conservative thinking. This time, 86% of those surveyed say IoT will offer new opportunities for their enterprises. “A lot of those companies were still waiting to see more implementation and more examples in industries that were relevant to themselves before they started taking steps in that direction,” she explains.
Relaki notes that these leading international groups have started to understand that IoT is not something that they will do on their own. “Collaboration is the key to getting IoT implemented in companies. This is what got that shift in thinking going,” she says. “It’s pretty difficult to agree to collaborate with a company you have considered your competitor up until recently. But realizing that it’s an ecosystem that needs to be built is the way forward.”
Furthermore, the most important value drivers for IoT technologies in an industrial setting are productivity increase, maintenance cost reduction, and the reduction of total machine downtime. Relaki says these findings make absolute sense. “Moving from hype to reality, we can now see that we’ve started getting away from answers like ‘My business model will change’ or ‘We will become a service-led company rather than a product-led company’. These groups have begun to realize that the technologies can actually help them connect to these drivers.”
“It’s pretty difficult to agree to collaborate with a company you have considered your competitor up until recently. But realizing that it’s an ecosystem that needs to be built is the way forward.”
Challenges and opportunities
In terms of implementation challenges, the three biggest issues for those who participated in the study are the impact on their business model (48%), how to capitalize on IoT (47%) and the lack of standardization (39%). “These factors are what keep the other 30% from saying ‘Yes, let’s go for it’ and implementing IoT technologies,” continues Relaki.
Gaining competitive advantage (66%), new revenue channels (54%) and operational efficiency (45%), meanwhile, are the three greatest implementation opportunities.
The results of the latest Industry of Things World Survey Report also shed light on the industries that have seen significant improvement given the aforementioned challenges. “ICT (information and communication technology) is definitely now realizing that they need to play a huge role in this,” says Relaki. The manufacturing, mechanical engineering and chemical industries, which are viewed as traditional, are also looking into IoT because they are realizing its potential.
Buzzwords and trends
According to Relaki, one of the most significant buzzwords is security. “In this context, it can’t be an afterthought anymore. The moment you start connecting things with each other, security definitely needs to be part of the design.”
Another trend she has noted involves machine learning, robotics and autonomous systems. Relaki observes that more and more companies are coming up with ways to use technologies that are not necessarily connected to manufacturing and incorporate the knowledge built into those areas to make the tools of their respective industries smarter.
A third phenomenon concerns the impact of startup culture. “We hear from an increasing number of startups being incorporated into industry giants. You end up having a cool, innovative team of four to five people with great ideas working with groups such as Trumpf or Hilti on how to manage their innovations and how to harness the power that these big companies have but in an innovative, startup way,” she says.
Industry of Things World 2016
Organized by we.CONECT Global Leaders, Industry of Things World 2016 is a strategic conference that brings together stakeholders from a variety of industries, all with the goal of defining the future of the industrial IoT. Scheduled to take place in Berlin from September 19 to 20, 2016, this year’s two-day program is set to feature the latest strategies on how companies can monetize and capitalize on the industrial IoT as well as real-life case studies.
Among the conference’s 80-plus keynote speakers are Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster, Director & CEO, German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and one of the inventors of the term Industrie 4.0; Frithjof Netzer, Senior Vice President, BASF 4.0; Dr Rodney Brooks, Founder, Chairman & CTO, Rethink Robotics; Colin I’Anson, HPE Fellow, Hewlett Packard Enterprise; and Rolf Riemenschneider, Head of Sector IoT, European Commission, among others.
To find out more about the agenda and speakers of Industry of Things World 2016, visit www.industryofthingsworld.com/en/ .
Download the full survey report here
Maria Relaki works as Portfolio Director at we.CONECT Global Leaders and is responsible for the Industry of Things World global event series.
Image credit: Industry of Things World