True Commercial Impact of IoT is Two to Five Years Away: Report

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The Gartner 2020 Hype Cycle for Supply Chain Strategy shows that the Internet of Things (IoT) has reached the bottom of the ‘Trough of Disillusionment’. The market will begin to climb out of this trough, as the technology advances and practitioners succeed in defining the best opportunities for the unique measurement and tracking capabilities of IoT.

The ‘Trough of Disillusionment’ highlights technologies and markets where interest has waned as experiments and implementations fail to deliver.

“IoT is in the trough because we see that many companies are implementing the technology, but they struggle to define the best opportunities for using its measurement and tracking capabilities,” said Mike Burkett, vice president, Gartner Supply Chain Practice. “We see further potential to grow its use over the next several years. Gartner estimates that installed IoT endpoints for manufacturing and natural resources industries are forecast to grow to 1.9 billion units in 2028 -a five-fold increase from 331.5 million units in 2018.”

According to Gartner’s 2019 Digital Business Impact on the Supply Chain Survey, 59% of respondents had partially or fully deployed IoT across the entire organisation; while another 22% were piloting and 15% had not invested yet, but planned to do so in the next two years.

“We have categorised IoT as a transformational technology because it has the potential to impact many areas of the supply chain in a broad and profound way,” Burkett continued. “While the most obvious use cases are in manufacturing, IoT can also help improve customer service because it enables leaders to better understand customer needs. More mature organisations will also be able to create information-based products such as providing visibility and analytics for better asset usage.

“For supply chain leaders, looking to implement or expand IoT capabilities, it’s important to work with subject-matter-experts to identify supply chain processes that can benefit from IoT. In some cases, processes will have to be redesigned to accommodate IoT capabilities. If the subject-matter-expert is an external provider, supply chain leaders should always check how they might use – and possibly monetize – captured data.”