Within the enterprise space, 2022 was another big year for the Internet of Things (IoT). A recent Omdia survey states that “enterprise adoption of IoT is on the brink of achieving mainstream status as evidenced by the steady rise in deployments”, with the global IoT market projected to reach $875 billion by 2025.
I have had some interesting conversations with customers about IoT’s future, and a few similar themes keep coming up.
Here are a few IoT trends that I think will emerge in 2023.
#1 – CIOs will pivot back to IoT projects post-pandemic
Many executives had to re-evaluate their priorities in the past two years because of the pandemic, focusing on immediate needs related to a remote workforce and adjusting to new workflows and processes. IoT projects “put on the back burner” are now ready to be prioritized again, and enterprises will begin implementing some of these initiatives. The Omdia survey states that 70% of enterprises plan to deploy more than 50,000 IoT devices in two years. This data is further evidence of IoT projects ramping up again.
#2 – IoT will help offset staff shortages
The tracking and automation capabilities that IoT provides will help enterprises not only improve efficiency, but truly “do more with less” in today’s era of staff shortages. IoT is a natural fit for this situation, with its ability to track a wide range of assets and automate several manual, human-based tasks.
One example is a quick-service restaurant using IoT sensors to monitor and log the temperature inside their refrigerators. If temps get too warm – maybe from a door left open too long – the food in the refrigerator can spoil, leading to food waste, food safety issues, and wasted energy. An IoT system monitors refrigerators at multiple locations and quickly alerts staff with an alarm if temperatures exceed a specific limit. It automates a manual task, freeing up more staff time to focus on customer-facing activities. The result will be more innovative, connected, and automated facilities that streamline operations, boost productivity, and reduce costs.
#3- IoT will extend to new markets and new parts of the business
One area of IoT market extension will be in the pharmaceuticals and life sciences sector. While manufacturing environments in these industries have utilized automation for some time, IoT will play a more significant role in laboratory and research and development (R&D) environments. That’s because equipment, samples, real estate, and lab occupancy need to be tracked to help streamline processes and optimize asset usage. In the past, labs either used RFID or no technology. IoT will allow them to utilize technology for data generation through asset tracking (using real-time location systems), asset utilization, and environmental monitoring.
Recently, I spoke with a customer in the pharma sector that is taking a close look at their real estate utilization as more staff returns to the office. They are using IoT to assess “room by room” utilization to determine how often staff use a specific piece of equipment in a particular room. This is a good example of IoT extending to other parts of the business, and this expansion will continue in 2023.
#4 – More enterprises willing to experiment with IoT
As IoT becomes more mainstream, enterprises will be willing to experiment with new IoT projects. This shift towards experimentation signals that enterprises are foregoing testimonial proof points to be more investigational and drawing upon these pilots to prove out, for example, enterprise-grade hardware or connectivity options.
In prior years, enterprises were more focused on technical viability and security concerns, but with the proven scale and resiliency of IoT at large, confidence among executives, changing conditions in the pandemic/post-pandemic era, and the proven past success of IoT projects in certain industries and environments, we should see the momentum going in 2023 and beyond.
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