Easier procurement and deployment of Industrial IoT helped respondents of one IIoT study to overcome supply chain disruptions and boost resilience.

In a mini global survey of 205 operations technology decision makers in retail; manufacturing; transportation/logistics; aerospace and defense; utilities and mining; oil and gas organizations in Q3/Q4 2021, data has indicated a strong trend towards greater automation, connectivity and intelligence in industrial supply chain operations, including Industrial IoT (IIoT), among the respondents.

Respondents indicated that IIoT deployment was becoming easier. Also, from the data, leading factors driving IIoT investments were: improvements to production output (27%); improvements to asset monitoring and maintenance (14%), reductions to operational expenses (14%) and improvements to operational intelligence (13%).

Organizations in the survey were also taking advantage of key technology trends that had significantly lowered the adoption barrier of IIoT solutions. These trends included:

  • improvements to IIoT platform functionality and ease of use
  • simplified development of IIoT applications through access to APIs and established communications protocols
  • lowered costs of sensors and data storage
  • developments in edge computing that shifted computation from the Cloud to the shop floor
  • few respondents having fully scaled up their IIoT-enabled solutions. Technical hurdles included: dealing with heterogeneous systems; determining which functions were supported by which applications; how the systems should be deployed; and how these solutions managed security requirements. Organizationally, IT vs OT governance was an often-cited source of conflict, together with “failing to adjust business processes to encourage broader application”; and “failing to fully realize the (IIoT) solution’s value”.

According to Brandon Black, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Ivanti Wavelink, which commissioned the survey: “The bottom line is that industrial supply chain operations overall were moving forward on the IIoT technology maturity curve. Maximizing IIoT’s value requires the commitment of leadership to ensure that (it) is not just an IT initiative, but an organization-wide effort.”