Report: Industrial companies using IoT, but need more ways to manage the data
November 9, 2018 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
November 9, 2018 – More industrial companies are using the Internet of Things (IoT) to collect data on their production lines, but most still aren’t using enterprise resource planning (ERP) software to manage it all, according to a new study by IFS, the global enterprise applications company.
IFS conducted a study of 200 North American executives that reveals substantial year-over-year gains in internet of things (IoT) usage in industrial companies. Executives at respondent companies, ranging from manufacturers to trade contractors to oil and gas companies, are collecting more data from connected devices, integrating it with other systems in new ways, and making IoT data more central to their businesses.
Companies collecting IoT data on entire work cells or production lines rather than individual machine components or individual machines has increased by 17 per cent. This enables more advanced use cases, which helps explain a 30 per cent increase in use of IoT to support asset performance management.
Respondents using IoT to monitor their customers’ equipment saw a 10 percent increase, potentially signaling transformational approaches to field service management. But despite these advances, the percentage of respondents who have integrated IoT data streams with their ERP software hovers at 16 per cent. This reluctance may represent a barrier to leveraging IoT to deliver net new business models or revenue opportunities.
“Enterprise IoT integration allows you to take incoming data from connected devices and use it to create business events in ERP,” says Christian Pedersen chief product officer at IFS. “The software can either present that data to humans or act on it as it comes in. Think of the potential for IoT constantly streaming into ERP through the business logic, where artificial intelligence (AI) applications constantly learn and apply that learning by creating new business logic. That is when AI will see the real breakthrough—and when ERP systems will dramatically transform, changing the way we think about them.”
Antony Bourne, president of IFS Industries, says, “IoT is a big disruptor. But if industrial companies do not embrace digital transformation, chances are that their business will be the one that’s disrupted by more agile competitors. IoT helps companies transform their businesses, making them more efficient, enabling them to explore new revenue sources and fundamentally changing business processes. One key constraint is the lack of skilled resources with the ability to deploy transformation technologies. Experienced partners both in enterprise software and technology platforms can help overcome these constraints and identify a proven way forward.”