Industrial IoT Customers Less Enthused on Predictive Maintenance Potential: Study


Many customers are now less enthused with the Internet of Things different from the data for the last two years / Photo by: Max Pixel


High-technology executives said customers of industrial IoT (Internet of Things) were less encouraged about the potential of predictive maintenance in 2018 compared to sentiments two years earlier, according to a survey by Bain & Company management consultants Michael Schallehn and Christopher Schorling.

“Conversations with many customers reveal that implementing predictive maintenance solutions has been more difficult than anticipated, and it has proven more challenging to extract valuable insights from the data," the management consultants said, according to an RT Insights report. It added that the problem has been introducing the said capabilities into existing operational technology.

Instead, the results of a survey of 600 high-tech executives showed that businesses are more inclined to give augmented reality and virtual reality a shot for maintenance and training, although most vendors aren't really prepared for that yet. Moreover, the Bain study also found that predictive maintenance is not the only thing that today's IoT implementations are struggling with.

“Many have found IoT implementation more challenging than they anticipated. Because of this, customer expectations have dampened somewhat," Schallehn and Schorling said, adding that while long-term predictions for industrial IoT implementations are still positive, customers expect the capability to slow down a bit for the near term.

However, they also said the increasing pace and comprehensive adoption of IoT are still inevitable. This is due to the fact that there are developments in sensor technology, 5G connectivity, edge computing, and edge analytics, as well as an estimated 20 billion devices connected by 2020.

The RT Insights report said another good news for IoT proponents is that return on investment (ROI) seems to now be a staple in industrial IoT initiatives. A smaller number of enterprises (28 percent) are worried about ROI compared to 2016 sentiments (35 percent), likely because returns on their earlier implementations have met their expectations.

"Industrial IoT use cases are beginning to deliver vendors’ promises," the management consultants said.

The survey also found that applications enterprises are the most eager in applying industrial IoT, which includes quality control, remote monitoring of equipment, and tracking of assets or equipment on production sites. It also found that security is a leading concern for enterprises (40 percent) followed by IT/IoT integration challenges (32 percent).