The manufacturing vertical is expected to spend the most on the Internet of Things in 2018, according to a new report by research firm IDC – and solution providers are looking to cash in.
According to IDC’s report, manufacturing companies globally will spend up to $189 billion on IoT solutions, and worldwide spending overall will reach $772 billion in 2018.
Jim Gillespie, CEO of Pittsburgh, Pa.-based GrayMatter, said that “2017 was about developing a vision, but 2018 will be about execution” for industrial IoT.
[Related: The 10 Coolest IoT Products Of 2017]
“We’ve noticed that leadership who are shaping strategy on this are starting to take action – leading to the rise in spend,” he said. “We’re seeing digital industrial transformation come up in C-suite presentations as a 2018 priority. Our customers realize that standing still won’t work anymore, so we’re seeing many first steps scheduled in the coming months.”
IoT spending among manufacturers will be largely focused on solutions that support manufacturing operations and production asset management, according to IDC.
For solution providers that includes connecting assets to the internet so that manufacturers can collect and analyze data in real time, providing better efficiency on the factory floor.
Jeff Murray, president of Control Point, a Scarborough, Maine-based operational technology solution provider, said he is starting to see a return on the investment that thecompany made in understanding the technology associated with IoT for the manufacturing space.
Control Point has built a solution including a cellular router that performs data collection, pushes information into the cloud, and generates alarms or notifications to give manufacturing companies visibility into their assets.
“We’ve invested in this and the idea and concepts behind it to connect companies and create offerings around it,” he said. “Because we have hardware and software offerings fitting into the marketplace, now we’ll see new business opportunities coming in 2018 and 2019 that didn’t exist before.”
Other industries that will shell out the most money around IoT include transportation, which is expected to spend $85 billion, and utilities, which is expected to spend $73 billion, according to IDC.
Murray said that he is looking to expand Control Point's business so that it can also invest in IoT solutions for these vertical markets as well.
“We’re finding the need to collect and analyze data in more industries than I thought … we’re talking to companies in the water and wastewater industries, and have talked to some manufacturers about how this is a good play for them as well,” he said.