IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) is establishing itself as a central element of the digital transformation. It promises more revenue, higher productivity, fewer costs and the prospect of new business models.
It began in 1990 with a toaster. Two computer scientists operated it via the internet during a conference. It wasn’t called the “Internet of Things” at the time. That term would emerge nine years later. Kevin Ashton of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) coined the term to describe passive RFID tags that could be read out without contact. A year after that, the electronics group LG caused a stir with its much-cited internet-capable refrigerator that could inform its owner of supply shortages.
After that, devices connected via the internet really took off. By 2008, there were already more of them knocking around on the web than there were humans on Earth. And this year, Gartner expects to see more than 20 billion IoT devices worldwide. Statista is even expecting more than 30 billion, which would then swell to 75 billion by 2025. Smart TVs, wearables and surveillance cameras will make up the lion’s share.
Of course, these aren’t at the top of companies’ wish lists. The IoT especially for industrial application (IIoT) pursues entirely different goals with significantly higher demands. According to the IDG study “Internet of Things 2020,” this should ultimately lead to cheaper production (34 percent) and a more efficient manufacturing process (30 percent). With this comes wishes for shorter setup times, lower energy costs and longer, breakdown-free running times thanks to predictive maintenance.
A recent study by Computerwoche and CIO shows that a good half of companies (51 percent) have already implemented IIoT projects here in Germany. Last year, only 39 percent had. And now there are no longer any companies without IoT activities. As before, the most important criteria for measuring success are higher productivity (55 percent), followed by cost reductions (46 percent) and increases in revenue (41 percent).
According to the study as far as IIoT applications are concerned, quality control (40 percent) has replaced the longstanding frontrunner, networked production (37 percent). After that comes smart connected products and sales control with 35 percent each. The rest are shared between logistics, building management and predictive maintenance.
According to a ReportLinker study from August this year, the global IIoT market amounted to $313.27 billion in 2019. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.3 percent to $607.73 billion by 2025. Unlike previous analyses, this takes into account the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The growth of IIoT draws from various sources while reinforcing existing trends itself.