The Real, Real World of IoT Enterprise Projects

By Cynthia S. Artin February 27, 2018

Let’s skip the hyperbole and get straight to the facts on connected enterprise systems driven by sensor data created by things that are up and running – today.

Beyond Proof of Concept – beyond Use Cases – the analysts at IoT Analytics published last week their 2018 update sharing 1,600 projects stored in their structured database.

By mining tens of thousands of websites, reports, news services, and other information on the Internet, IoT Analytics assembles, validates, organizes and maintains data on projects reported by large, often global enterprises across the largest industry segments, then distills the information up with analysis on where real traction is taking place.

More than half of all the project identified most recently include Smart City (367 projects), followed by industrial settings (265) and Connected Building IoT projects (193).

The regional differences are rather stunning: while the Americas make up almost half of projects tracked, most smart city projects are located in Europe (45%) with the Americas stronger in Connected Health (55%) and Connected Car (54%). Asia-Pacific leads in Smart Agriculture projects (31%).

“The geographical spread of identified Enterprise IoT projects reveals worldwide adoption of IoT solutions across 70+ countries,” said Padraig Scully, VP Market Research at IoT Analytics. “The USA is the clear leader accounting for 40% of identified IoT projects. Germany and the UK are a distant second and third respectively, both with 6% of projects, while Australia, Canada, and Spain make up the top six, each accounting for 4% of identified projects.”

The company last published the high-level results in 2016, and since then, Smart City has overtaken Connected Industry, driven by an increasing number of government and muni-led projects, while Smart Building numbers soared.

61% of Connected Building projects identified involved facility-automation to reduce energy costs, and 39% of projects are related to building security and 31% to HVAC/Heating/Cooling.

Smart City, an area we have been covering given the enormous amount of innovation happening, and public/private partnerships surfacing and promising much more livable, affordable and sustainable urban environments, are being tracked in the growing database. According to IoT Analytics, some of the most prominent examples include Singapore and the City of Barcelona.

“The most popular Smart City application is Smart Traffic including projects such as parking systems, traffic monitoring & control, bike sharing, smart bus lanes, but also more exotic applications such as smart ferry systems or smart bus shelters,” an article published by IoT Analytics said. “Other Smart City initiatives evolve around utilities, lighting, environmental monitoring and public safety.”

Connected Industry trends include more non-factory deployments than we may have imagined, including equipment monitoring in non-factory environments. Citing Cisco’s connected mining operations for Rio Tinto in Western Australia, the data base covers this deployment which instruments an entire mine. Typical non-factory projects include asset monitoring and remote control of connected machinery such as cranes, forklifts, drills, or even entire mines and oil fields (e.g., Cisco’s connected mining operations for Rio Tinto in Western Australia).

This “Mine of the Future” deployment is massive, and controlled by a single “Mine Automation System” which instruments, tracks and optimizes massive mobile equipment (including engines, holding tanks and tires), measures elements within the earth, leverages thousands of sensors on a multitude of other places in the mine, takes advantage of drone-captured images and data, and otherwise presents operators with what Rio Tinto calls their ability to “sense, think, act” in order to improve safety, increase yield, and generate more profits.

“Smart Factory” automation and control projects were the second most popular application in Connected Industry, IoT Analytics reported, “including holistic solutions with numerous elements such as production floor monitoring, wearables on the shop-floor, remote PLC control, or automated quality control systems.” They cite Varroc, and automotive component manufacturer, using digital factory solutions from Altizon to connect manufacturing machines and implementing solutions across all its plants.

“Varroc is using IT to make its business processes lean and agile,” said Dr. Ravi M. Damodaran, President, Technology and Strategy for the Varroc Group. “The company has partnered with Altizon Systems for implementing solutions. This is the first step in ensuring that Varroc rapidly scales Industrial IoT applications across all its plants.”

The number of Connected Car projects more than doubled since the 2016 IoT projects list, with growth in vehicle diagnostics (77%) and fleet management (57%).

The report also confirmed the high growth we’ve also seen in low-power (LPWAN) connectivity technology, with an overwhelming 64% of LoRa projects focused on Smart City, with others in Smart Agriculture and Smart Energy.

The report even broke down the adoption connectivity types into LoRa (37%) followed by SigFox (21%) and NB-IoT (19%).

Finally, the main value driver for over half of IoT enterprise projects is cost savings (54%) with 35% used to increase revenue (e.g., by offering new IoT-connected products and services). 24% of projects also increase overall safety (e.g., by offering enhanced monitoring systems with real-time alerts and notifications).

“While the list of 1,600 IoT Projects is certainly not complete, our analysis leads us to conclude that the total number of globally announced and published IoT projects is still limited,” Scully added.

“Triangulating the list with a number of other data points, we believe the total number of IoT enterprise projects (including all unannounced projects) is in the range 10,000 – 30,000 projects. This range is well in line with our overall market model and our observation that the market has not yet exploded but is growing steadily at 30-40% on the back of many pilot projects and small roll-outs – with some verticals seeing above average growth such as Smart City. This steady growth is forecast to continue for the remainder of 2018.”

You can learn more here.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Contributing Writer

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