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4 Common Industrial IoT Challenges and Tips for Avoiding Them

4 minute read

Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions are being adopted quickly. ABI Research predicts that the number of IIoT connections will grow to 5.3B in 2026 across nine early adopter countries, with more than 12B installed industrial sensors and devices collecting and transmitting data.

The IIoT market is driven by the need to reduce costs associated with asset downtime, increased competitive pressures to generate new, service-based offerings, and the demand for enhanced worker productivity and safety. These requirements are inspiring new IIoT solutions that monitor equipment, provide insight into failing machinery, automate field service operations, improve inventory management, and optimize warehouses.

However, the promise of IIoT may elude many businesses. Organizations without prior experience executing an IIoT project often lack the internal vision to build an overarching IoT strategy, establish organizational alignment, and ensure that essential security measures have been instituted.

Here are the top pitfalls of IIoT and strategies for how to overcome these challenges.

1. Failure to Establish a Defined Business Objective

To generate a successful IIoT strategy, look into your organization and ask “What are our business objectives?” and “what are the biggest IoT challenges we must overcome to meet those objectives?”

The answers to these questions should guide your team to develop an IIoT vision that supports your larger business goals. This vision should drive project KPIs to align technical milestones with your business strategy.

2. Lack of Organizational Alignment

A survey conducted by IoT Institute and the Industrial Internet Consortium revealed that 57% of professionals with active IIoT projects found overcoming cultural barriers and organizational silos between IT and OT was the biggest IoT challenge in achieving alignment for IIoT.

To succeed with an IIoT project, it is critical for IT and OT teams to work in concert with one another to build an IIoT strategy. Best practices include fostering a culture that supports change management, and employee education regarding the benefits of IIoT solutions to spur innovation and action toward shared IoT and business goals.  

3. Failure to Prioritize Security

An ABI Research survey found that 68% of manufacturing professionals cited data and privacy concerns a top barrier to adopting innovative technologies. This concern is especially prominent with IIoT as securing and controlling IoT networks, devices, applications, and data transfer is critical for success. IIoT security must be integrated into solution design and treated as a priority throughout the solution lifecycle.

An IIoT security strategy should cover the three primary layers of the solution, including the device layer, communications layer, and the application layer.

4. Minimal IoT Experience, Internal Resources

ABI Research reports that more than 50% of manufacturing professionals cited a lack of internal skills and experience as a top barrier to adopting innovative technologies. In a growing number of instances, industrial businesses have overcome these obstacles by partnering with an experienced IoT provider that can help build the IIoT strategy, create organizational alignment, and integrate critical security elements. Seek a trusted, neutral and expert advisor with demonstrated IIoT knowledge and experience that delivers end-to-end capabilities that can maximize ROI on your investment.


Check out our webinar to learn more about these challenges and how to avoid them, best practices for industrial IoT strategy, and real-life examples of industrial IoT success.

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