As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to drive organizations to look for ways to reduce spending, projects that focus on cost optimization and operational efficiency will be less affected than those that focus on transformative impacts. IoT is generally an early-stage project that is counted as discretionary spending or represents an area of large capex, so it is particularly vulnerable.
Through 2020, healthcare IoT will be the only sector that sees double-digit growth in IoT investments. Short-term investments by healthcare providers will focus on combating the COVID-19 pandemic. The expansion of crisis hospital capacity and equipment in temporary facilities, increased demand for ventilators and investment in telemedicine to reduce the spread of infection are causing a temporary increase in IoT device sales.
Telemedicine initiatives are likely to continue post-pandemic, and healthcare provider CIOs will need to develop long-term plans to identify which virtual care solutions improve patient experience, optimize costs and better manage the health of populations overall.
The most imminent need for healthcare is to expand capacity by adding more ventilators and patient monitors, many of which are IoT-enabled by default. To reduce the burden on healthcare centers, providers are investing in remote patient-monitoring solutions by adding the management, tracking and alerting of medical devices, such as those that monitor blood pressure, heart rate and respiration rate. These solutions will allow patients to be monitored in their home environments.
Meanwhile, other verticals that have high IoT demand, such as automotive or manufacturing, will be hit harder by the crisis and will postpone some of their IoT transformation initiatives and production volumes due to revenue constraints.
This will impact not only product leaders’ immediate initiatives, but also their strategies for the next three to five years. But during the recovery, companies will invest in automation to protect themselves against future shocks.