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12-05-2020
3 min. read
Sjors de Kleijn

What Will Drive the IoT Market through 2020?

The trends and opportunities during and after Covid-19.

We are starting to see the first signs of machine builders and manufacturers looking beyond the ‘survival’ phase and into the ‘recovery’ phase. Now is the time to look at the lasting impact Covid-19 will have on the manufacturing industry.

How will Covid-19 change the way manufacturers look at working remotely, remote support and remote assistance? And will these developments also speed up the uptake of IoT? Which modifications will be standardized by machine builders after Covid-19? Let’s find out.

The impact of Covid-19 for the industry

If one thing is clear, it’s that the longer the Covid-19 disruption lasts, the more it will become clear for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) that remote support and IoT is something that they have been ignoring for far too long, as they will be hardest hit. 

During the crisis, where direct contact and travelling is prohibited or restricted, remote service is the only way to provide support and maintenance is limited by sending spare parts or external software updates.

Companies that have not yet set up solutions to cope with this situation, will have had to improvise in order to be able to continue production. The need for secure remote connectivity to factory machines and condition monitoring dashboards has become much clearer.

A recent report by ABI Research goes into this in much more detail and elaborates on what everyone has experienced in practice. In this article, we summarize the trends and opportunities using IoT that we stumbled upon into their research and how that will impact society after Covid-19.

Growing trends: digitizing with IoT and working remotely

SME enterprises seek technology to help establish trust and reliability from new partners and suppliers, maintain social distancing and deliver contactless support and maintenance using IoT. Digitizing operations to provide end-to-end visibility in the supply chain is a need.

Another growing short-term trend is working remotely. For example, Microsoft Azure saw traffic surge with 775% amid Covid-19 Work from Home (WFH) shift. Remote working has a positive impact and cut-back on industrial/business activities by the adoption of secure IoT device management, e.g. cutting costs of on-premise management by staff.

The demand for off-the-shelf Industrial IoT solutions, like IXON Cloud, still continues to develop rapidly to improve resilience to Covid-19 and create more flexibility in the way we work or deliver support. This includes tools for remote provisioning and access, as well as Over-the-Air (OTA) management for updates/patching.

Digitizing with Industrial IoT is also the first step to introduce new ways to help make more money.

IoT monetization: using data and new business models

Growth in the use of data and analytics for planning and inventory will require collaborative environments with multistakeholder, supplier participation, and data sharing across the value chain. 

(Machine) Data is the main factor for new business models. Outcome-based services and pay-per-usage models (insurance), will drive IoT adoption of asset tracking for critical assets to improve security, availability, and uptime of equipment through predictive maintenance and other value-added services.

IoT monetization will expand with as-a-service models, particularly for hardware connectivity. The integration of data from connected manufacturing assets with supply chain asset visibility. This means more focus on prioritizing manufacturing asset IoT projects.

How to operate after Covid-19?

Digitized operations will help improve resilience to Covid-19 and improve connectivity and transparency in other situations when your production facility is (suddenly) inaccessible. Remote support, remote service and IoT are indispensable and are going to turn the sector completely upside down. During our webinar series, we noticed a lot of interest in our remote access solution and the benefits of collecting machine data from anywhere around the world. So you’re not the only one who is actively researching and investigating solutions for remote service and IoT.

Now that everyone has experienced what it means to have to work remotely, they want a solution that best suits them now and in the future. In every challenge, there is an opportunity and digitalization is a “must” to keep yourself relevant. So it’s better to choose a scalable and future-proof IoT solution to stay strong.

If you want more information on the IXON Cloud solution, where remote access is the core, feel free to take a quick look in our product tour or get in touch with us.