Research by Inmarsat, a global mobile satellite communications provider, reveals that investment in the internet of things (IoT) is set to overtake cloud computing, next-generation security, big data analytics and other digital transformation technologies in the near future, a statement from the company reads. It said that respondents drawn from multiple industries reported plans to invest the greatest proportion of their IT budget on IoT projects over the next three years.
“IoT has reached a high level of maturity across most organizations, with businesses across all industry sectors now planning to spend an average of $2.8 million on their IoT investments through to 2024,” the statement reads. “While IoT accounted for an average of 7 per cent of an organization’s IT budget between 2017 and 2020, businesses are planning to spend 10 per cent of their IT budgets on IoT projects over the next three years. Planned investments in IoT are notably higher than those earmarked for other Industry 4.0 technologies, including cloud computing (9 per cent), next generation security (7.5 per cent), big data analytics (7.3 per cent), robotics (5.3 per cent), machine learning (4.8 per cent) and virtual reality (4.3 per cent).”
In addition to receiving more investment than other technologies vying for IT budgets, the Inmasat research reveals that the mainstream adoption of IoT already is making a difference in operational cost-savings to many organizations. On average, Inmarsat said, respondents reported that IoT projects save their organizations 9 per cent of their yearly costs. The research found that in the future, respondents expect to achieve an average of 15 per cent cost-savings in 12 months’ time, rising to 22 per cent in three years and 30 per cent in five years’ time.
“There are, however, noticeable variations in the planned levels of IoT investments between different industry sectors,” the statement reads. “Oil and gas firms intend to invest the most in IoT over the next three years (an average of $3.2 million), followed by electrical utilities companies ($3.1 million), transport and logistics businesses ($3 million), mining operators ($2.7 million) and, finally, agricultural businesses ($2 million).”
Commenting on the findings, Mike Carter, president of Inmarsat Enterprise, said that the company’s latest research reveals IoT is the primary Industry 4.0 technology in which companies would be investing over the next three years.
“The emergence of IoT as an investment priority for businesses, and the increasing level of cost-savings they expect IoT to deliver in the years ahead, demonstrates how well-established a technology IoT has become across multiple industries,” Carter said. “However, there are still noticeable differences between sectors and several significant areas for all organizations on which to improve to draw optimum benefits from the technology, namely: securing reliable connectivity, improving data management and addressing their IoT skills gaps and security concerns.”
The Inmarsat executive said that despite already seeing rapidly increasing levels of IoT adoption, COVID-19 has emphasized the importance of Industry 4.0 technologies like IoT for business continuity.
“With the world’s production and supply chains becoming increasingly interconnected and digitalized, those companies producing digital twins of their supply chains and sharing data, are the ones reaping the benefits,” Carter said.
According to Carter, the Inmarsat Elera narrowband network is ideally suited to the rapidly evolving world of IoT and the billions of devices that are being connected every year, delivering global reach, resilience and fast speeds, along with small, low-cost terminals. He said that Elera is inspiring possibilities and enabling organizations from all sectors to access IoT anywhere, and it will be a catalyst for the next wave of technologies.