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Like its consumer counterpart, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is full of potential. But realizing that potential is currently a struggle for business leaders, according to a new study from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network.
The professional networking organization, along with CMO Council, Penton’s IoT Institute and software specialist The Nerdery, recently surveyed 350 executives worldwide to examine the state of IIoT readiness in the corporate world. The results show that many business are still struggling to take that first step to highly automated, hyper-efficient workplaces.
The study found that 41 percent of all executives, including 52 percent of executives who work for large enterprises, expect the IIoT to have a profound or significant impact on their industry in the next three years. Within their respective industries, 55 percent of respondents said the IIoT is gaining traction.
That traction is a bit tenuous, reflecting the nascent stage of the IIoT revolution.
Only 1.5 percent of respondents at large enterprises said their IIoT projects are well underway. Fifty-seven percent have pilots up and running, are in the planning stages or have at least committed to implementing their IIoT initiatives.
"Executives are telling us that IIoT technologies are about to play a significant role in business and industrial performance, delivering significant improvements in operational efficiency and uptime, as well as growth from new business models, products, services and customer experiences," said Dave Murray, Head of Thought Leadership at the BPI Network, in a statement. "Nevertheless, less than 2 percent of large companies say they have a clear vision for how to move forward or have large-scale implementations underway."
The apparent disconnect may be a blessing in disguise. "That dichotomy suggests we are experiencing the lull before the storm of IIoT transformation. This is an opportunity for real competitive differentiation and advancement," Murray continued.
Revealing some of the pain points in adopting IIoT technologies, executives said businesses need new technical skills (51 percent), improved data analytics and integration capabilities (41 percent) and a reassessment of business models (33 percent).
Many businesses also face a major skills gap (31 percent), though there are signs that it is "improving somewhat" for a significant number of companies (31 percent). Some said their IIoT skills are rapidly improving while just seven percent think their employees have the most of the skills required.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.