The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is expected to increase the revenues of businesses across the supply chain by an average of $154m, according to a global study published by mobile satellite communications company Inmarsat.

The technology is projected to boost annual revenues by 10% within five years and revolutionise how businesses function.

Moreover, the deployment of the technology is projected to reduce operating costs by 16% in five years.

“It’s clear that businesses are prioritising satellite technology to transform their operations and achieve competitive advantage.”

The results are part of the 2018 edition of Inmarsat’s research programme into IIoT trends, named ‘IIoT on Land and at Sea’.

The use of real-time data and machine-to-machine communication will enable increased automation and operational efficiency, the study noted.

Inmarsat also stated that businesses need to have access to reliable and resilient connectivity in remote regions or at sea to ensure successful IIoT deployments.

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Inmarsat Enterprise president Paul Gudonis said: “IIoT is emerging as a major force in the modern enterprise and it’s clear that businesses are prioritising satellite technology to transform their operations and achieve competitive advantage.

“Data generated by IIoT infrastructure is expected particularly to bring greater transparency to the global supply chain, allowing businesses to automate processes, reduce operational waste and speed up rate of production, leading to higher revenues and lower costs”.

The research found that many businesses are facing security, skills and connectivity challenges in large scale IIoT deployments, with more than half of the respondents (56%) requiring additional cyber-security skills and 34% without access to connectivity.

Gudonis added: “For global businesses that require a global communications network, satellite connectivity will play a key role, guaranteeing constant secure data transmission wherever their IIoT infrastructure is located.”

As per the study, around 29% of mining companies are trialling IIoT initiatives, while only 2% of the mining respondents have fully deployed any IIoT-based solutions.

However, the research stated that the number of companies that fully deploy the solutions will increase to more than half within a year.

For the research programme, the company appointed market research specialist Vanson Bourne, who surveyed 750 businesses from a wide range of industries, including the agriculture, energy, maritime, mining and transport sectors.

The study highlighted the need for greater implementation of IIoT and other smart technologies to ensure competitiveness and increased efficiency in the mining industry.

Improving health and safety across the organisation is a key motivator behind adopting IIoT technologies, followed by improving the physical security of sites and assets (58%) and improvement of resource efficiency (48%).