Germany exceeds U.S. in IoT investment

A recent survey suggests that Germany is investing more in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) than the United States and that they are more confident about its future overall.


A recent survey suggests that Germany is investing more in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) than the United States and that they are more confident about its future overall. Courtesy: Internet of BusinessWhile Silicon Valley is leading the charge in many respects to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), a recent survey from Boston Consulting Group indicates that Germany is exceeding the US in IIoT development and spending. The survey polled more than 300 German and American manufacturing executives, who were asked if they had already applied IoT tech in their factories or had plans to do so in the near future.

Germany leading the way

Seventeen percent of all respondents—both in Germany and in the US—said they've implemented predictive maintenance technology in their factories already.

However, 40% of Germans are willing to take the risk within the next one or two years, while a mere 24% of Americans said they'd be willing to do the same. The result? German manufacturers have more belief in IIoT.

In addition, 39% of German manufacturing firms are also looking at deploying autonomous robots and assistance systems in the facilities within the next few years. Just 20% of American manufacturers are interested in these areas.

Factories relying on humans seem to be a rarity, and German companies are certainly relying on automation in ever increasing numbers. The report also found that worldwide spending on IoT tech and solutions is to reach $70 billion by 2020, jumping from $29 million in 2015.

IIoT investment leads to great benefits

Christian Johan Smith, co-founder of IoT tech firm TrackR, said all sorts of companies - including those in the manufacturing sector - are investing in IIoT to save costs and enhance performance.

"The technologies that businesses have been using for years to optimize costs saving and improve the performance of the business," he said. "Utility companies, businesses and governments are using IoT to make better decisions on how to allocate resources to solve problems by gathering and analyzing data."

Challenges for the IoT

Despite the benefits, Smith believes there are challenges—especially in terms of creating IoT technology standards that work for companies in all industries.

"Challenges of IoT standards is that each company is trying to gain an advantage by creating their own standard that benefits themselves," Smith said. For standards to be successful, industry consortiums need to happen like the Bluetooth SIG."

Smith also said, "Getting to market with hardware remains a challenge across the US where software start-ups have been the focus of most Venture Capital and few experts in the field exist." 

Nicholas Fearn is editor at Internet of Business, which is hosting the Internet of Manufacturing Conference November 1-2, 2016, in ChicagoInternet of Business is a CFE Media content partner. This article originally appeared here. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, CFE Media,

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