Industrial IoT (IIoT) is a growing field, with companies across industries adopting IoT devices and technology to accelerate their businesses. Industries including manufacturing, oil and gas, utilities and finance are bringing IoT into their operations at a rapid pace.
By 2030, Industrial IoT is expected to add $14.2 trillion to the global economy.¹ That growth will be driven by investment from both companies that are implementing IIoT solutions and market leaders who are developing new IIoT technology. And in 2019, specifically, we’ll likely see that investment take several key directions.
Based on current products and investment in the marketplace, including several key acquisitions by notable companies such as Nokia, we expect to see four key trends in industrial IoT over the next year. These trends will impact the future of the IIoT arena and set the stage for future tech advancements and enterprise platforms.
2019’s Key IIoT Trends
Advanced AI Algorithms
We’ve heard a lot about AI in the last several years. In 2018, it even started making its way into a wider range of industrial IoT products.
The coming year will see artificial intelligence (AI) become more commonplace in multiple industries. More specifically, however, we’ll see improvements in algorithms and products with enhanced with unassisted AI, including machine learning and deep learning. These tools will help enterprise IIoT systems deliver meaningful value in terms of efficiency and effectiveness at every level of the organization, while uncovering new opportunities and ways of working.
What’s more, companies may also begin using their own specialized data to build customized AI systems that can respond directly to their processes, training, goals and more. That means we’ll see both commercial and custom IIoT development accelerate in 2019
With the volume of technology entering the enterprise, 2019 will see the proliferation of management platforms that combine multiple products and innovations specific to an industry.
Leveraging industry-specific management platforms will bring new levels of agility and automation to companies. For example, a utility company that combines AMI, smart meters, outage analytics, demand-response data and other IoT technology can better adapt to fluctuating demands, control operational costs and address specific safety and environmental concerns if all data and controls are in one platform.
In that vein, we’ll likely see overarching management platforms emerge that can handle both new and legacy assets, including industrial IoT devices. While there are similar platforms on the market today, they’ll become more sophisticated in 2019, integrating with other systems and compiling data in a central location to improve efficiency and insights.
There are still some years away from connected car technology fully taking over our roadways. However, today’s cars are being manufactured with more IoT features and capabilities than ever before. The ubiquitous nature of connected cars on the market is bringing companies to consider how to leverage these systems to their benefit.
Driverless cars are already being used to move iron ore at mines in Australia and oil companies are looking to build driverless trucks to transport oil. Companies in other industries are considering how they can leverage telematics and other IoT features to perform processes faster, safer and more effectively.
Industrial IoT is making a major impact in high-risk industries like mining, oil, and gas. These industries continue to be plagued by fluctuating demands, excessive operational costs, and increasing attention to environmental concerns and worker safety.
By leveraging IoT in the form of automation, robotics, and remote operations, it’s possible to remove workers the most dangerous and hazardous parts of their jobs. In 2019, we’ll likely see an increase in investment from IIoT suppliers in safety tools and automation in mining and other high-risk industries. Companies will combine those new products with existing safety operations tools and analytics that are already on the market.
Industrial IoT Investment Will Shape Industries and Drive Competitive Advantage
IIoT is shaping industries from manufacturing and mining to oil and gas, utilities, healthcare and more. In 2019, we’ll see that continue, with a greater focus on unifying platforms and products, and improving working conditions.
We also expect to see notable shifts as new technology is developed and other industries intensify their investment into IIoT products, driving competitive advantages in their fields. For companies that want to keep up with the competition, this will be an area to watch not only in 2019, but for the foreseeable future.