COVID and IoT (Internet of Things) are arguably the two most recognizable buzz words in recent months, and recent studies conducted by DuckerFrontier indicate the role of IoT within the Covid-19 crisis across among the manufacturing industry throughout Europe and North America. The Covid-19 crisis has exposed how vulnerable manufacturing operations can be despite having state of the art crisis management tools in place. As a result, digitalization/IoT has taken the driver seat, and other planned initiatives placed on hold.

Sustaining Operations and Supply During Lockdown

The global economy has without a doubt taken a massive hit from this crisis; however, some companies have come out stronger than before. Demand plays an important role, but the ability to sustain operations and supply during global lock-downs is integral in defining a winning strategy. Strong investments in Digitization/IoT initiatives such as remote monitoring and access are becoming commonplace for companies to continue their operations in the face of global crises.

A recent study revealed that 75% of European manufacturing facilities within the packaging, water treatment and power plant sectors are accelerating their IoT initiatives as a result of Covid-19.

Remote monitoring and access is the most sought-after solution among global companies – considered the first step towards implementation, particularly due to global travel restrictions. Other key drivers for this solution include:

  • Continuous, smooth operations for remote/home office work
  • Real-time plant operation configuration
  • Improve planned and unplanned downtime by reducing the need to fly in engineers for most breakdowns and/or employ less technical staff
  • Conduct cost-efficient remote repair services and trainings through ‘Smart Glasses’
  • Offset the difficulty in recruiting/retaining qualified staff

Traditional industries (i.e., power plants, water treatment facilities) who avoided IoT solutions are now turning towards it as a critical part of their continued business strategies.

Barriers to Growth of IoT

An exceptionally high willingness to continue implementing Remote Monitoring & Access solutions is observed despite some overarching concerns.

  • Cyber Security: Especially for sensitive industries servicing the public sector
  • Cost: Beyond a one-time investment to implement the technology, will there be an increase or decrease in operational cost? What are my ROI expectations?
  • Existing Infrastructure: Is my IT network infrastructure ready for such systems?
  • Staff Buy-in: Will such initiatives make staff redundant? Are they able to adapt to the new technology?

IoT Roadmap and Your Organization

When developing an IoT roadmap, more specifically for Remote Monitoring and Access, key insights should be considered:

  • Identify bottle necks in your supply chain/operations and prioritize
  • Identify partners to work with, particularly companies specializing in Remote Monitoring & Access solutions for your industry
  • Identify robust network partners especially for cybersecurity management
  • Explore possible pricing options from leasing to pay-per-use or pay-per-performance, etc.
  • Implement a step by step roll-out with taking your employees into confidence

Implementation is smoother and far more effective when working with the right partners as opposed to being done independently. The only certainty, especially now, is the need to capitalize on evolving work culture/habits. When implemented correctly with the right partners, the Digitalization/IoT benefits far outweigh the barriers; DuckerFrontier experts specialize in developing targeted IOT roadmaps for your operations.

DuckerFrontier continues to follow and analyze the key trends and impacting the all key industries, both during and post Covid-19 disruptions. Visit our Covid-19 Resource Hub for the latest insights and implications for global business, or contact us to connect with a team member.