47% of firms to increase investment in IoT, says Gartner study

According to the Gartner research, 35% of organisations reduced investment in IoT during the Covid-19 lockdown, while a larger number of organisations are planning to invest more in IoT implementations to reduce costs.

A graph showing the impact of Covid-19 on companies' plans to implement IoT to reduce costs.
Impact of Covid-19 on plans to implement IoT to reduce costs. Source: Gartner

A prominent reason for the rise in IoT investment is that while history of the technology’s usage is limited among organisations, IoT implementers produce a predictable return on investment (ROI) within a specified timeframe.

“They use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track their business outcomes, and for most of them they also specify a time frame for financial payback of their IoT investments, which is on the average three years,” said Benoit Lheureux, research vice-president at Gartner.

Additionally, because IoT investment is relatively new, cost-saving opportunities such as predictive-maintenance on commercial and industrial assets like elevators or turbines, and optimisation of processes such as increasing manufacturing yield, come to the fore.

Digital twins and AI

31% of survey respondents said they look to improve employee or customer safety using digital twins, such as using remote asset monitoring to reduce the frequency of in-person monitoring, like hospital patients and mining operations. 27%, meanwhile, plan to use digital twins as autonomous equipment, robots or vehicles.

Lheureux explained: “Digital twins can help companies recognise equipment failures before they stall production, allowing repairs to be made early or at less cost.

“Or a company can use digital twins to automatically schedule the repair of multiple pieces of equipment in a manner that minimises impact to operations.”

Gartner has predicted that by 2023, one-third of mid-to-large-size companies that implemented IoT will have implemented at least one digital twin associated with a Covid-19-motivated use case.

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Enforcement of safety measures proves to be driving the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI); 25% of respondents are favouring automation through remote access and zero-touch management, while 23% are choosing procedure compliance (safe automation measures) in order to reduce Covid-19 safety concerns.

Looking forward to 2023, it’s predicted that one-third of companies that have implemented IoT will also have implemented AI in conjunction with at least one IoT project.

Gartner surveyed 402 respondents across the US, UK, Germany, Australia, Singapore and India in June and July 2020.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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