“Most of us understand that innovation is enormously important. It’s the only insurance against irrelevance. It’s the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty. It’s the only strategy for out-performing a dismal economy.”
– Gary Hamel, management expert
A recent study from MPI Group, “How Manufacturers are Profiting from the IoT” validates the importance of innovation in IoT technologies. It shows that there is a strong correspondence between understanding the IoT, implementing the IoT, and benefiting from the IoT. “A good understanding of the IoT is a strong indicator of better operational performance,” the study said. “Two-thirds of innovators have fully achieved or made significant progress toward world-class manufacturing status,” the study found.
These “innovators” are defined in the study as those companies most willing to use smart devices and embedded intelligence in their processes, their manufactured products, or both. Contrast that with those in the planning stages, labelled “incipients”, and those with no interest at all, called “indifferents.” The indifferents, according to the study, “are also indifferent to manufacturing success; a whopping 73% have made—at best—only some progress toward world-class status.”
The take-away here is that those companies that understand the IoT and how to apply it to their businesses have for the most part benefitted, and are realizing profits from the IoT, while those that lag behind risk falling futher behind.
Two Areas for Realizing Profits
The study looks at two main areas of implementation of the IoT among manufacturers—in process and in products. The process areas offering the most profit-making opportunities, according to survey respondents, were shipping and logistics, warehousing, document management, and manufacturing. The most profit potential from products included adding IoT capabilities to the firm’s own products, as well as selling these capabilities in technologies, devices, software and/or materials to other companies.
There are challenges, of course. One drawback is that most companies feel that their network infrastructures are not capable of handling machine-to-machine or machine-to-enterprise communications well. Other top-of-mind challenges to survey respondents were in finding the budget needed for implementation, and in indentifying IIoT opportunities.
By the same token, though, when these companies learn how SkkyHub provides IIoT connectivity on existing networks and can be implemented with no capital expenditure, they may find that the Industrial IoT is within their grasp. Using an end-to-end, secure-by-design IIoT solution that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, they may find that realizing profits from the IoT is not as difficult as they thought it might be.