How is IoT Performing in the Manufacturing Market?

Commitment to growth and the need for network interoperability: The 2023 State of IoT Adoption in Manufacturing

Eseye author


IoT Hardware and Connectivity Specialists


The manufacturing sector is ultra-competitive, so it’s no wonder that 62% of respondents to Eseye’s third annual State of IoT Adoption research said that the chief benefit they had experienced by implementing IoT has been increasing revenue.

They have firm plans to build on this advantage by doubling down on the investments they have made. Currently, the majority (74%) of the manufacturing organisations we surveyed have small to mid-size IoT estates, ranging from 500 to 5,000 devices. Three quarters of respondents revealed that they plan to increase their IoT budget in the next two years, with over half (55%) predicting a rise of between 25% to 50%. This is higher than in 2022, when 43% forecast an increase within this bracket; a consecutive year-on-year growth that illustrates how committed this industry is to its IoT initiatives.

IoT device uptime

The manufacturing sector values connectivity performance and uptime above the other four industries we surveyed as part of our IoT research. With any downtime having the potential to bring production to a costly halt, 81% of respondents agreed that achieving near 100% global connectivity is crucial.

However, 22% of respondents in this vertical reported that their top IoT challenge is securing reliable device connectivity across multiple countries, regions and locations, making it the sector’s overall biggest barrier to success. Many manufacturing companies run global operations, which means that sub-standard coverage is a significant threat to profitability, with possible impacts ranging from compromising corporate goals to product failure.

In our view, anything less than 100% connectivity is simply not good enough – and this has always been our mantra. Breadth and depth of global coverage really matter when a business is choosing a connectivity provider, so manufacturers must be ready to ask some tough questions: how many networks do they truly have access to? Is that coverage resilient and reliable enough for the business case?

Given that a large proportion of manufacturing companies are managing IoT deployments on a global scale, it makes sense that 81% believe that being able to control their estates via a single IoT connectivity management platform would save vital time and resources.

Juggling relationships with multiple operators – many of which will have their own proprietary management portals – together with separate contracts and bills, can quickly become complex. Utilizing a centralized IoT platform that provides the ability to see and control each device, as well as optimize all connections, greatly simplifies the task. Ideally, the system should also be flexible to accommodate emerging IoT technologies and evolving business requirements.

Eight in 10 respondents from the sector agreed that interoperability between public and private networks should be a priority. Enterprises have started to invest heavily in private cellular networks to support more reliable, higher-speed and low-latency communications on site. At Eseye, we’re seeing a growing demand for the ability to roam to and from these private networks onto public networks.

Manufacturing plants and warehouses stand to gain significant operational benefits from this integration, which will unlock new Industry 4.0 applications such as autonomous guided vehicles, factory automation, robotics, production line quality control processes, and advanced predictive maintenance.

Companies should seek connectivity partners that can offer switching between public and private networks, while still providing management via a single centralized platform, common APIs, and consolidated billing.

The manufacturing companies we surveyed fully recognize the imperative to gain – and maintain – a competitive edge. They are keen to be able to measure the state of their IoT initiatives against benchmarks, with 91% saying it would be beneficial to assess the maturity level of their projects and make a comparison with their industry peers.

This approach brings a number of advantages. First of all, businesses need to understand where they are before they can get to where they want to be. Benchmarking also helps to shine a light on best practice in areas that are critical to IoT success, such as connectivity performance and device management, so improvements can be made where necessary. Importantly, manufacturers can also leverage this information to demand the service they deserve from their IoT connectivity providers.

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Discover the results of our largest State of IoT Adoption survey to date with insights into the challenges and opportunities that are hindering and helping IoT adoption IoT projects in the manufacturing industry.

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Eseye author


IoT Hardware and Connectivity Specialists


Eseye brings decades of end-to-end expertise to integrate and optimise IoT connectivity delivering near 100% uptime. From idea to implementation and beyond, we deliver lasting value from IoT. Nobody does IoT better.

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