Farnell, an Avnet company and global distributor of electronic components, products and solutions, has announced the results of its fourth annual Global IoT Survey which reveals the strong growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) across a wide range of industries. The Global IoT Survey generates new insights on their critical market, including opportunities and challenges for engineers and system integrators working in IoT.
This year, there was a dramatic change in the attitude to deploying artificial intelligence (AI) in IoT systems. Engineers are better informed and more willing to deploy AI as they find ways to use it to improve products and increase the return-on-investment of their systems. The research also showed a growing trend for establishing partnerships to accelerate the delivery of new IoT solutions as well as the continued advancement of Industry 4.0 and importance of selecting the most appropriate connectivity platform early in the design process.
The survey results confirmed that while IoT deployment continues to grow strongly, there is no single “defining” IoT application. Multiple industries are adopting IoT in their own way at statistically similar rates.
Cliff Ortmeyer, global head of technical marketing for Farnell, said: “Many businesses are finding new and inventive ways to incorporate IoT hardware, software, and cloud-based applications across a diverse range of industry sectors. However, it’s challenging to identify a core driver outside of what is already working for them within their immediate scope of work. Nevertheless, the migration to a world benefiting from the IoT is only set to grow and warrants our investment in future annual surveys. Farnell is committed to supporting customers in their IoT journey and can offer a growing portfolio of IoT products and solutions, as well as access to new market insights that enables innovation.”
The Global IoT Survey provides an opportunity for IoT product designers and system integrators to share their experiences on IoT deployment and identify markets yet to engage with the technology. The survey is designed to capture state-of-the-industry perceptions as businesses and consumers migrate to an IoT-driven world. The key emerging trends highlighted in this year’s survey include:
- Communications/connectivity was identified as a significant concern for IoT development as there are numerous options available which must be compatible with the host system environment. Selecting the optimum solution, whether wired, wireless, Bluetooth, LoRaWAN or others is challenging. Farnell’s wide portfolio of communications products helps engineers make the right decision and equip their IoT nodes with the most appropriate communication standard for each application.
- IoT for manufacturing is seen by 30 per cent of the sector respondents as the bedrock of productivity improvements and is already a leading adopter of IoT technologies. Of all the industry sectors, manufacturing appears to be the most comfortable with IoT and remains the one to watch for signs of how the adoption will progress.
- AI has seen exponential growth in the past year. Respondents using AI in some fashion jumped from 39 per cent in the previous survey to 56 per cent, with another 26 per cent stating that they expect to at least consider using AI in the future. This suggests disparate sectors are becoming increasingly comfortable with its deployment.
- Private cloud services are falling out of favour as there are too many advantages to joining one of the big three providers including AWS, Google or Azure.
Compared to the 2021 Global IoT Survey, the new research indicates that:
- Innovative and flexible suppliers are now essential partners for the exponential growth in the broad and highly diverse range of applications being developed and installed to deliver IoT benefits.
- Industry 4.0 remained the primary application, representing the primary market for 18 per cent of the respondents. Strong growth in the use of the IoT for energy management was also evidenced, increasing from 10 per cent in 2021 to 16 per cent this year. The increase in energy prices around the globe after the survey closed suggests that energy management could be even more important in 2023.
- Companies are engaging in IoT development because they see opportunities to grow their business and establish leadership in their industries. However, the research showed a growing trend towards working with partners to develop IoT solutions, and a demand for standardisation and interoperability, rather than companies having to develop their own closed systems.
- Attitudes to IoT development and deployment have changed dramatically with engineers better informed and more enthusiastic about the return-on-investment advantages of the IoT, particularly in energy management.
The Global IoT Survey was carried out by Farnell from January to March 2022 and a total of 2263 qualified responses analysed to provide greater understanding of the technologies, challenges, and opportunities designers and system integrators of IoT solutions face.
Farnell offers an extensive range of development tools for IoT and works with innovative providers to deliver the latest for AI and security. Customers can access technical support and design resources including the IoT Hub, AI pages and an AI Configurator on the Farnell website. Fast delivery is available on all major development boards for IoT including the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B Computer, Raspberry Pi RP2040 silicon, Raspberry Pi Pico, BeagleBone AI-64 and Ultra96 V2 as well as Kunbus and Industrial Shields’ industrial PLC control solutions.