The adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things in Italy

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The Internet of Things Observatory of the School of Management – Politecnico Milan shows some interesting data on the IIoT adoption in Italy. According to the research, 95% of the companies surveyed have heard of IoT solutions for Industry 4.0 at least once, but the real level of knowledge is still limited (with a score of 6.5 out of 10) and insufficient among SMEs (5 out of 10). This is what emerges from the survey conducted by the Internet of Things Observatory on 129 Italian companies. The level of the projects also varies according to the size of the company: 58% of the sample started at least one Industrial IoT project in the 2016-2018 period, but the percentage rises to 73% among the medium and large companies and falls to 29% among the small ones. The most common applications are mainly related to the factory management (Smart Factory, 62% of cases) for real-time production control and preventive or predictive maintenance, followed by the Smart Logistics (27%), focused on the assets traceability within the warehouse and along the supply chain, and by the Smart Lifecycle (11%) for the optimization of the developing process of new models and for the product update. More than half of the projects (58%) are still in the pilot phase or in the preliminary analysis phase. One of the main development directions of the Industrial IoT is the analysis and management of the collected data, but only 33% of the sample has already begun to do so. The main factors that drive the companies to start Industrial IoT projects are the possibility of obtaining efficiency (75%) and effectiveness (58%), but there are still many companies that indicate as barriers the lack of skills (59%) and the difficulty to understand the real value of the offered solutions (51%). Despite this, only 39% of the companies intend to develop internally, in the future, IoT skills through the hiring of specialized staff or appropriate training programs aimed at employees already present in the company. In the third place among the factors that drive the companies to start projects there are the incentives of the National Plan Industry 4.0, which has played an important role as an accelerator for investments in the factory digitalization over the past two years.

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