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What we see as the top investment growth areas in IoT and why

Building back better

The top investment growth areas in IoT are largely shaped by the pandemic and the global business response to it. According to Vodafone, “When we conducted our IoT Spotlight research, we were at the peak of the pandemic. Businesses were facing completely new challenges.

IIoT platforms & the cloud

Open source and scalable IIoT platforms bring an added layer of efficiency to industrial applications as giants consolidate to offer better integrations and cloud-based solutions. Containers have become the de facto standard in modern software design. 

Leading software firms are modernising their applications with serverless architectures, at least partially, while some lagging software companies still have their applications optimised for on-premises installations often with the option to host the software in the cloud but without any of today’s powerful cloud-native functionalities. 

Consistent data structures and state-of-the-art data warehouses are also a large area of investment. And based on the buying patterns of 2020 & 2021, these platforms will be largely low-code or no-code.

Low-code & no-code

With a wide range of applications deployed across most industrial infrastructures these days, there’s just no way for an IT team or operators to know how to work all of them unless they are low or have no code. And so, these applications are becoming the gold standard as businesses face a shortage of high-tech talent post-pandemic and begin to rely on some base level of user configuration support across the estate. 

The IIoT winners will be those offering and deploying cloud solutions that can be managed and operated by a technologically unskilled or low-skill workforce; even remotely.

IIoT analytics & machine learning

The majority of solutions have been targeted at monitoring and optimising customer equipment based on relatively basic algorithms and are not yet leveraging more advanced artificial intelligence-enabled solutions. But the future of IIoT is AI and machine learning.

This will enable the tech to make a call on a wide range of issues like suppliers, predictive maintenance, routing and more. It will augment the human workforce by freeing up valuable team time from repetitive and low-skill tasks. Given the worker supply shortage most organisations face, this automation could create its own competitive advantage.

Advancements in connectivity

According to McKinsey the connectivity layer of the IoT technology stack is most tightly bound to mobile-network operators that offer standard cellular connectivity. A small number of well-financed start-ups have targeted this layer of the stack and have made progress in subsegments such as low-power wide-area connectivity.

Connectivity technology occupies a still-growing market that’s strongly influenced by international standardisation in this technology layer. So, as we’re provided with more competition in this space, better and more affordable connections that are environmentally conscious become the investment growth areas in IoT.

“Connectivity technology occupies a still-growing market that’s strongly influenced by international standardisation in this technology layer”