From agriculture to retail, the internet of things is changing how companies in many industries do business.
According to a Gartner report, IoT adoption reached 43% of enterprises worldwide by the end of 2016. A 2015 IDC survey reported that 58% of organizations worldwide see the IoT as strategic to their business. Another 24% of organizations see it as transformational to their business.
In addition to changing business models and increasing output, the IoT is automating processes across a number of industries.
Some industries have been quicker than others when it comes to integrating IoT into their everyday operations. Here are the 6 leading IoT industries, compiled according to an IDC report.
No other sector has been more impacted by the IoT revolution than manufacturing. Manufacturers across all areas — durable goods, electronics, automotive, etc. — have invested heavily in IoT devices, and they are already experiencing the benefits.
A TATA Consultancy Survey showed that manufacturers utilizing IoT solutions in 2014 saw an average increase of 28.5% in revenues from the previous year.
One concept that comes into play is smart manufacturing, the use of IoT devices to improve the productivity and efficiency of manufacturing operations. This typically involves the retrofitting of sensors to existing manufacturing equipment, and new manufacturing equipment coming with the IoT sensors pre-installed. Having sensors placed on factory equipment allows the collection of data about the performance of the machines and systems.
Many IoT solutions are still at a basic stage, but it is expected that manufacturers will eventually implement more advanced technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) tools and autonomous robots.
IoT solutions are being used in transportation to improve business in a number of ways, making an impact from supply chain logistics to public transit.
One example of such solutions is connecting shipping vehicles with sensors to monitor temperature, helping companies ensure that goods arrive in a safe condition — especially food. There is an also increasing number of freight and public transportation vehicles being equipped with sensors for purposes such as scheduling maintenance, training drivers, and optimizing fuel consumption.
By creating intelligent transportation systems in the future, the transportation authority will have the ability to monitor each vehicle’s movement, and also predict future location and possible road traffic.
Much of the IoT spending in the transportation sector is driven by freight monitoring, which was at $55.9 billion in 2016. This represents the second largest IoT use case across all industries.
The utilities industry is another sector that invested heavily in IoT solutions. Investments in the “smart grid” for gas and electricity totaled $57.8 billion in 2016, according to the IDC. Now smart grid meters are widely deployed in the U.S. and in several European countries.
Smart grids and smart meters allow utility companies to cut down on inefficiencies while better analyzing demand. They do this by distributing utilities according to where they’re needed at any given time. Cities have more opportunities to become greener and more efficient, as utility systems are replaced and upgraded to digitized systems. Smart meters help utility companies spot outages and know when to schedule repairs.
The oil and gas industries have also taken advantage of IoT solutions. Since these industries are spread across large areas, and have lots of valves, pipes and gauges to monitor, it’s worth installing IoT solutions because the loss of revenue from just a few minutes of a breakdown is huge.