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IoT Tech Accelerates Among Manufacturers: Survey

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Manufacturers are accelerating use of Internet of Things (IoT) technology, according to a survey of 66 companies.

“IoT continues its inexorable growth spurt,” PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation said in a report. PwC and MAPA conducted the survey.

Industrial IoT applications, known as IIoT, include “connected” factory machines. Equipment is monitored and maintained automatically. Factory employees can adjust equipment using smartphones.

“As manufacturers ramp up operational IIoT initiatives…they are also achieving cost-cutting efficiencies,” PwC and MAPA said.

“And, as IIoT-related costs of components, communications and data collection, storage and analysis continue to decline…IIoT fencesitters may well become adopters,” they said.

The survey included both original equipment manufacturers and suppliers. The respondents included 56 public companies with a combined $287 billion in annual revenue.

According to the report, 38% of manufacturers surveyed now offer “IoT-driven products and services” with another 48% “currently in the process of developing them.”

Caveat About Strategy

PwC and MAPA said 31% of respondents “are also implementing IoT-related enhancements to their internal operations, and 56% are exploring this path.” Companies, the report said, “are cutting costs through IoT-drive operational and supply change efficiencies and predictive maintenance.”

However, the report also said only 14% of manufacturers surveyed “have created go-to-market IoT strategies and roughly half are in creation process.”

Some companies, according to the report, “are offering IoT products without a clear strategy to market those products.”

Among respondents, 40% said they were earmarking between 5% and 20% “of their total research and development budgets” to developing IoT.

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