New research from Inmarsat reveals that investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to overtake cloud computing, next-generation security, and big data analytics in the near future.
The research surveyed respondents from multiple industries who say they plan to invest the most significant proportion of their IT budget on IoT projects over the next three years.
With IoT reaching a high level of maturity across most organisations, businesses in all industry sectors are now planning to spend an average of $2.8 million on their IoT investments through to 2024.
According to the research, IoT accounted for an average of 7% of an organisation's IT budget between 2017 and 2020, with businesses planning to spend 10% of their IT budgets on IoT projects over the next three years. Planned investments in IoT are generally higher than those earmarked for other Industry 4.0 technologies, including cloud computing (9%), next-generation security (7.5%), big data analytics (7.3%), robotics (5.3%), machine learning (4.8%) and virtual reality (4.3%).
As well as receiving more investment than other technologies, the research reveals that mainstream adoption of IoT is already making a significant difference in terms of operational cost-savings. On average, respondents say IoT projects currently save their organisations 9% of their yearly costs. In the future, respondents expect to achieve an average of 15% cost savings in 12 months, rising to 22% in three years and 30% in five years.
"Our latest research reveals IoT is now the primary Industry 4.0 technology in which companies are investing over the next three years," says Inmarsat enterprise president, Mike Carter.
"The emergence of IoT as an investment priority for businesses, and the increasing level of cost-savings they expect IoT to deliver in the years ahead, demonstrates how well-established a technology IoT has become across multiple industries.
"However, there are still noticeable differences between sectors and several significant areas for all organisations on which to improve to draw optimum benefits from the technology, namely: securing reliable connectivity, improving data management and addressing their IoT skills gaps and security concerns," he says.
Inmarsat says that despite already seeing increasing levels of IoT adoption, COVID-19 has emphasised the importance of Industry 4.0 technologies like IoT for business continuity. The company says as the world's production and supply chains have become increasingly interconnected and digitalised, those companies producing digital twins of their supply chains and sharing data are the ones receiving the benefits.