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STAMFORD, Conn., October 29, 2020

Gartner Survey Reveals 47% of Organizations Will Increase Investments in IoT Despite the Impact of COVID-19

By 2023, One-Third of Companies That Have Implemented IoT Will Also Have Implemented AI in Conjunction With at Least One IoT Project

Despite the disruptive impacts of COVID-19, 47% of organizations plan to increase their investments in the Internet of Things (IoT), according to a recent survey* from Gartner, Inc.

Following the COVID-19 lockdown, the survey found that 35% of organizations reduced their investments in IoT while a larger number of organizations are planning to invest more in IoT implementations to reduce costs (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Impact of COVID-19 on Plans to Implement IoT to Reduce Costs

Source: Gartner (October 2020)

One reason behind the increase is that while companies have a limited history with IoT, IoT implementers produce a predictable ROI within a specified timeframe. “They use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track their business outcomes and for most of them they also specify a time frame for financial payback of their IoT investments, which is on the average three years,” said Benoit Lheureux, research vice president at Gartner.

In addition, as IoT investments are relatively new, most companies have plenty of “low hanging fruit” cost-saving opportunities to pursue, such as predictive-maintenance on commercial and industrial assets like elevators or turbines, and optimization of processes such as increasing manufacturing yield.

Digital Twins and AI Drive IoT Adoption

As a result of COVID-19, 31% of survey respondents said that they use digital twins to improve their employee or customer safety, such as the use of remote asset monitoring to reduce the frequency of in-person monitoring, like hospital patients and mining operations.

The survey showed that 27% of companies plan to use digital twins as autonomous equipment, robots or vehicles. “Digital twins can help companies recognize equipment failures before they stall production, allowing repairs to be made early or at less cost,” said Mr. Lheureux. “Or a company can use digital twins to automatically schedule the repair of multiple pieces of equipment in a manner that minimizes impact to operations.”

Gartner expects that by 2023, one-third of mid-to-large-size companies that implemented IoT will have implemented at least one digital twin associated with a COVID-19-motivated use case.

The enforcement of safety measures has also fueled the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in the enterprise. Surveyed organizations said they have applied AI techniques in a pragmatic manner. Twenty-five percent of organizations are favoring automation (through remote access and zero-touch management), while 23% are choosing procedure compliance (safe automation measures) in order to reduce COVID-19 safety concerns. For example, organizations can monitor work areas using AI-enabled analysis of live video feeds to help enforce safe social distancing compliance in high-traffic areas such as restaurants and manufacturing lines.

Gartner expects that by 2023, one-third of companies that have implemented IoT will also have implemented AI in conjunction with at least one IoT project.

*Note to Editors:

The survey was conducted online from June through July 2020, with 402 respondents across the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia, Singapore and India.

Gartner clients can read more in “Survey Analysis: COVID-19 Use Cases Are Driving IoT Adoption, Powered by Innovations Like AI and Digital Twins.”

Additional analysis on current and future trends of AI will be presented during Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo 2020, the world's most important conferences for CIOs and other IT executives. IT executives rely on these conferences to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to overcome business challenges and improve operational efficiency. Follow news and updates from the conferences on Twitter using #GartnerSYM.

Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo include:

November 9-12| EMEA| Virtual

November 17-19| Japan| Virtual

November 23-25| India| Virtual

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and an objective resource for more than 14,000 enterprises in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

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