Manufacturers’ feel they are being left behind in the IoT race, industry study finds


Research from Ubisense finds 40% of global manufacturers don’t know how to get started with IoT, a 9% rise on 2020 levels.

Almost half (46%) of global manufacturers believe they are being left behind when they see industry peers roll out Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, despite more uncertainty of the value, benefits and role of the internet of things in their assembly processes compared to 2020, according to research from Ubisense.

The year-on-year study found that following a pandemic-ravaged year, which saw almost two-thirds (63%) of manufacturers running at lower capacity and a similar number (62%) suffering drops in productivity, an increasing fear of getting left behind wasn’t enough to overcome the doubt surrounding the often cited benefits IoT could deliver, such as improved cycle times, enhanced monitoring of process flows, or improved energy consumption. 

A key reason for this lack of adoption, regardless of industry peer pressure, can be seen through a lack of trust in the details of what IoT can actually fix. Only 46% now believe that IoT can reduce cycle times in manufacturing and assembly processes – one of the key IoT benefits –  as a prime example.  

The fact that more than 76% of manufacturers still believe the adoption of IoT would give their organisation a competitive advantage, coupled with the simultaneous worry about being left behind, suggests manufacturers agree with the direction of travel, just not the vehicle that will get them to their destination. In 40% of cases, companies still don’t even know how to get started with IoT, a 9% rise on 2020 levels. Providers should be looking to rectify that first step to ensure the industry doesn’t once again get left behind by IoT’s second wave, post-pandemic. 

Ubisense’s report, ‘A Lost Year for IoT in Manufacturing: The Hard Work Begins Now’, was informed by a study of 300 managers, directors and higher-level executives from the industrial manufacturing community across the UK, USA, France and Germany. 

“Manufacturers’ tendency to compare themselves against others when it comes to tech adoption, while at the same time considering themselves so unique so as not to know where to start, manifests in a lost year for the industry becoming more efficient, streamlined and productive,” says Steven Manifold, Chief Marketing Officer at Ubisense.  

“The good news is that, given our research suggests a lack of understanding rather than a complete lack of interest, the industry redoubling its efforts to educate and inform manufacturers should be able to turn this situation around. It’s now up to IoT providers to ensure that manufacturers don’t get left behind for a second time,” adds Manifold.  

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