Given the assortment of industries impacted by COVID-19, it may come as a surprise that global IoT adoption has grown. In fact, according to the 2021 IoT Signals Report, 44% of organizations have gone up in IoT funding.  

Now, this third edition of the IoT Signals Report investigates the global state of IoT in different industries. The industries taken into consideration are manufacturing, smart places, energy, and mobility industries (automotive, transportation, and logistics).  

Additionally, the report surfaces valuable insights around IoT adoption rates, benefits, and challenges. Emerging technologies that assist businesses in the United States and abroad are making these companies compete at a higher level.  

Combining IoT and Edge Computing Gives Way for Much Better Security  

Combining IoT with edge computing opens up new opportunities and aids in addressing some of these identified challenges. By shifting AI to devices at the edge, businesses are reducing privacy and latency issues and enabling offline solutions.   

Security is a key reason for organizations to integrate edge computing with IoT, since 40% of those surveyed claimed so. Cloud security was chosen as the main reason for combining these technologies, followed by device and asset security at 36%.   

The mobility sector takes the lead in using IoT at the edge. Together, these technologies give way for solutions which help benefit from offline computing capabilities. Clear examples of these capabilities are autonomous vehicles and end-to-end logistics visibility and quality.  

Smart Spaces and IoT’s Adoption

When you go deep into the data, automation and efficiency also stand out as main motivators within each vertical, followed by safety. However, the specific reasons for choosing them and use cases are always different.   

For example, 47% of manufacturers are looking to improve quality and compliance, and 45% of them are adopting IoT for industrial automation. Energy companies are focused on smart grid automation (44%), improving grid maintenance (43%) and enabling remote infrastructure maintenance (40%).  

Oil and gas companies prioritize workplace safety (45%) and employee safety (43%). For the smart places industry, productivity and workplace analytics top the priority list at 47%, followed by building safety at 42%.  

IoT and AI Power Scenarios Such as Smart Spaces and Predictive Maintenance 

Within the United States, 81% of businesses are combining AI with IoT, which is a bit ahead of the global average (79%).  

Of the organizations leveraging AI with IoT, 67% cite predictive maintenance as the top reason followed closely by prescriptive maintenance. Additionally, organizations are integrating AI to improve user experiences, enabling capabilities like visual image recognition and interpretation, as well as natural language recognition and processing.   

In the smart places sector, businesses are using AI and IoT to make buildings more sustainable and help improve worker health and safety. Businesses in the manufacturing and energy sectors are running machine learning algorithms to predict and prevent equipment failures.  

Furthermore, businesses in the mobility sector are combining AI and IoT to monitor driver safety and optimize routes in real time.  

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