Much of what happened in 2021’s IIoT platform market was a reverberation of 2020’s events. This sets the stage for the IIoT platform trends we see emerging for 2022 and beyond. Many changes began as direct responses to COVID-related events and have been refined during 2021/22. Others correlate to the ongoing adoption of Industry 4.0 advancements as more and more industries start tapping into digital transformation.
Regardless of origin, these emerging IIoT platform trends revolve around familiar topics: remote data accessibility, cybersecurity, buyer shift, and data democratization. Viewed as a whole, these four areas are transforming manufacturing’s technology landscape. They are creating a significant shift towards data democracy and user-friendly Business Intelligence (BI) technology. This move toward data accessibility for all is impacting business strategies, management styles, and in the long run, business success.
Remote data accessibility
Manufacturing has always had a different relationship with remote work compared to other industries. Manufacturing is inherently on-site dependent. However, as the pandemic showed, remote work in manufacturing is possible—and it’s going to continue.
Manufacturing firms have become a top target of cybercriminals, extortionists, and nation-state groups. In fact, 61% of companies have experienced a cybersecurity incident affecting their factories, with three-quarters of those incidents taking production offline. As with the expectation for remote data access, the focus on cybersecurity is going to carry forward into 2022 and beyond.
Historically, technology specialists informed C-Suite executives about what technology tools were needed. As companies move towards more holistic transformation strategies instead of piecemeal solutions, this purchasing modality is ebbing away. We’re seeing the C-Suite play a much larger role in purchasing decisions, and it’s having an impact on the way IIoT is implemented.
Data democratization is a major catch phrase in manufacturing technology right now. In simple terms, it means everybody has access to data and there are no gatekeepers creating a bottleneck at the gateway to data. This information-for-all concept is another expectation birthed by advancing technology, like AI, Machine Learning, and smart technology.
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