The IIoT in the advanced manufacturing market is being hampered by cybersecurity issues. Fortunately, software such as digital twins and blockchain

Why is the IIoT sector stalling in advanced manufacturing?

Kimberley Wellen, Senior Account Manager at FMC Global Talent.
Kimberley Wellen, Senior Account Manager at FMC Global Talent.

The industrial internet of things (IIoT) first burst onto the advanced manufacturing and plant scene armed with technology which would redefine and digitally transform traditional industrial workflows.

Whilst uptake for many plant organisations has been staggered, the IIoT market has already proved to be immensely valuable by reducing asset downtime, providing advanced maintenance analytics, real-time data and much more.

The IIoT is significantly contributing towards the growth of the Smart Industry, with one report suggesting the global market to be worth USD 244.8 billion by 2024. But how much further can the IIOT go?

Many adopters of IIoT have already experienced significant data breaches and cyber-attacks which are continuing to rise. This means the IIoT market will shortly stall and poses as a major national threat.

Here are my predictions for the IIoT market in advanced manufacturing 2019:


Cybersecurity is at the forefront of enabling the IIoT to sustain continued growth globally however is some way behind solving the immediate demand for data safety.

It is widely acknowledged that cybersecurity requires standardizing across the global market to decrease the vulnerability of sensitive and potentially damaging datasets.

It is currently the most critical issue the European and global energy market faces and will prove the largest barrier to growth for emerging technology within advanced manufacturing in 2019.  

Digital Twins

Digital twin’s technology is the latest breakthrough technology and will enhance the effectiveness of the IIoT by providing real-time data analytics through smart sensors to simulate an asset during various conditions.

This has positively impacted a variety of industrial sectors, including construction whereby a structure can now be accurately monitored and maintained throughout its lifecycle.

You can read Joe Coleman’s blog to understand how Digital Twin technology is revolutionizing the construction sector.

Environmental sustainability

In a 2018 report, figures suggest that 71% of organizations who had deployed IIoT solutions were realizing or improving against their sustainability objectives. Successes include the use of solutions which support asset monitoring, fault detection and operational efficiency.

The challenge with sustaining this growth lies with advancing satellite connectivity and establishing a reliable stream of communication and real-time data with remote locations and data hubs for analysis. Extreme weather conditions currently reduce the consistency and effectiveness of IIoT technology.  

In a market which is widely criticized and acknowledged as a significant contributor towards serious environmental damage, negative social impacts and healthcare spending, news of technology which is improving environmental sustainability is welcomed and further encouraged by further investment.

Blockchain technology

Blockchain is slowly being recognized as a major technology to advance communication and data sharing across the entire supply chain, not to mention its ability to feed a digital twin with real-time updates.

The future of the IIoT lies within further collaboration and data sharing to support wider industry adoption and integration. Blockchain helps to achieve this by providing a foundation of established and reliable data for other advanced manufacturing companies to learn from.

There is only a limited amount of companies positioned to take advantage of Blockchain technology. For the wider advanced manufacturing market to take advantage of IIoT, consultancy, training and education remains crucial to support the growth of digital transformation.

FMC Digital Plant Industry Report

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UK Digital Plant Report 2019 – Hiring, Industry & Software Trends.

UK Digital Plant Report 2018 – Salary & Bonuses Trends.