Read the 2020 IoT Signals report to explore the latest Internet of Things (IoT) industry trends and get insights for developing an IoT strategy for your organisation.
IoT is playing a critical – and expanding – role for businesses
IoT solutions are becoming an increasingly important part of many businesses’ day-to-day operations – and their plans for the future. To better understand this trend, Microsoft commissioned the 2020 IoT Signals report. For the report, 3,000 decision-makers from a range of industries and countries were interviewed about IoT usage at the enterprise organisations that they work for.
This year’s report reveals how IoT use is both rapidly diversifying and becoming more commonplace. IoT solutions continue to be implemented across a growing range of industry use cases, making them more integral to companies than ever. Ninety per cent of IoT decision makers said they believe IoT is critical to their company’s continued success, and 64 per cent said they plan to implement even more IoT solutions in the future.
The report also provides a unique look at how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated IoT projects and investments. Thirty one per cent of organisations reported plans to increase investment in IoT due to COVID-19, while just 16 per cent reported plans to decrease their IoT investments.
Read the full report to explore all key IoT trends and in-depth insights into commercial and industrial IoT implementations and adoption drivers.Get the 2020 IoT Signals report
IoT solutions thrive at the edge
Edge computing is playing a big role in the value and efficacy of IoT solutions. Organisations that used edge computing as part of their IoT solutions benefitted from more connectivity, improved operations and optimised automation and productivity.
Edge computing is also becoming well known across industries: Ninety five per cent of the decision-makers we surveyed said they are aware of it, with 73 per cent already using it in their IoT solution. Furthermore, 33 per cent of the decision-makers who were aware of edge computing said they view it as a core component of their IoT solution.
The proven value of IoT applications is making it easier for decision-makers to build buy-in across their organisations and implement even more IoT solutions. Companies who incorporated emerging technologies such as edge computing, AI and digital twins into their IoT solutions tended to find more benefits from IoT overall, which in turn lead to more investment and confidence in IoT solutions.
IT security drives IoT adoption
One of the top reported drivers of IoT adoption was safety and security – 47 per cent of businesses cited it as a main use for the technology.
We asked decision-makers what their top IoT security considerations are
said Ensuring data privacy
said Ensuring network-level security
said Endpoint security for each IoT device
During the coronavirus, we had a problem with the return of empty bottles. It wasn't easy to fill in the gap, but we noticed the gap in the first place because of the data that we had through our IoT solution. The manufacturing plant can automatically adapt to increased demand. We also call it the smart factory.Beverage manufacturing IT decision-maker
It took standing the IoT solution up in one of the utilities, and that utility demonstrating the value. I had a hundred thousand avoided truck rolls this year. Ascribe a cost to every one of those truck rolls, and that is impactful to the bottom line. And I've got a hundred thousand customers that I didn't make wait to figure out what their problem was. I immediately started to triage with them.Power and utilities IT decision-maker
We layer AI on top of our IoT solution to do predictive maintenance. We know historically that pump B is going to fail at a specific point, so we can send the technician out before it fails.Healthcare IT decision-maker
Engineering generates a digital 3D point cloud of every part we manufacture, down to the exact physical characteristics. We take this digital twin and optimize it mathematically without ever having to put it in the jig in the first place. When we do that, we find much better configurations. The number of combinations would typically be 92 factorialized—that's infinitely more combinations than there are atoms in the universe. Using the digital twin, we can spit out a better outcome virtually than we can physically. We can do it in hours, not in days.Water and power technology IT decision-maker, United States
IoT is driving value, but some limitations persist
The study shows that most adopters are seeing business value from their investments, but some are also facing implementation challenges due to:
Complexity and technical issues
More than 25 per cent of organisations find that IoT solutions take too long to implement and are too technically complex to complete in house.
Twenty eight per cent of organisations don’t have the budget or human resources to implement and manage IoT projects.
IoT’s innovation backlog
Thirty three per cent of organisations are still in the process of implementing current solutions, moving from the learn phase through the proof-of-concept phase, and implementing full solution adoption.
A growing skills gap
With organisations looking to break through the current backlog of IoT projects while also addressing the broader challenges holding them back from accelerated adoption, system architects and cloud developers are in especially high demand.
Industrial IoT is optimising production and improving efficiency
Fifty four per cent of companies surveyed said that IoT has helped them increase operational efficiency, while 47 per cent cited IoT as a reason for enhanced employee productivity. In addition, common commercial IoT use cases are spreading across key industries.
Top IoT use cases reported by industry
- Production flow monitoring
- Industrial automation
- Production planning and scheduling
- Tracking inventory
- Staff management
- IT security
- Supply chain optimisation
- Surveillance and security
- Inventory optimisation
- Grid asset maintenance
- Smart metering
- Generation optimisation and load balancing
- IT security
- Asset and predictive maintenance
- Emissions monitoring and reduction