Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the technologies that will get boost in the COVID-19 era. Despite the disruptive impacts of pandemic, 47% of organizations plan to increase their investments in the IoT, according to a survey from Gartner. The survey also found that 35% of those surveyed claim to have reduced the amount allocated to the technology.
One reason behind the increase is that while companies have a limited history with IoT, IoT implementers produce a predictable 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.
In addition, as IoT investments are relatively new, most companies have plenty of “low hanging fruit” cost-saving opportunities to pursue, such as predictive-maintenance on commercial and industrial assets like elevators or turbines, and optimization of processes such as increasing manufacturing yield.
The study also concludes that digital twin technologies and Artificial Intelligence are also driving the use of IoT. As a result of COVID-19, 31% of those surveyed said that they use digital twins to improve their employee or customer safety, such as the use of remote asset monitoring to reduce the frequency of in-person monitoring, like hospital patients and mining operations.
“Digital twins can help companies recognize equipment failures before they stall production, allowing repairs to be made early or at less cost,” said Lheureux. “Or a company can use digital twins to automatically schedule the repair of multiple pieces of equipment in a manner that minimizes impact to operations.”
The survey showed that 27% of companies plan to use digital twins as autonomous equipment, robots or vehicles. Gartner expects 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.
The pandemic also boosts artificial intelligence
The enforcement of safety measures has also fueled the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in the enterprise. With this technology, for example, organizations can monitor work areas by analyzing live video feeds to help enforce safe social distancing compliance in high-traffic areas such as restaurants and manufacturing lines.
According to the report, 25% of surveyed organizations acknowledge that they are favoring automation (through remote access and zero-touch management), while 23% are choosing procedural compliance (secure automation measures) in order to reduce concerns related to security during the pandemic.
By 2023, Gartner expects one-third of companies that have implemented IoT will also have implemented AI in conjunction with at least one IoT project.