Manufacturers’ feel they are being left behind in the IoT race

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Research from Ubisense finds 40% of global manufacturers don’t know how to get started with IoT, a 9% rise on 2020 levels.

Almost half (46%) of global manufacturers believe they are being left behind when they see industry peers roll out Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, despite more uncertainty of the value, benefits and role of the internet of things in their assembly processes compared to 2020, according to research from Ubisense.  

The year-on-year study found that following a pandemic-ravaged year, which saw almost two-thirds (63%) of manufacturers running at a lower capacity and a similar number (62%) suffering drops in productivity, increasing fear of getting left behind wasn’t enough to overcome the doubt surrounding the often-cited benefits IoT could deliver, such as improved cycle times, enhanced monitoring of process flows, or improved energy consumption. 

A key reason for this lack of adoption, regardless of industry peer pressure, can be seen through a lack of trust in the details of what IoT can actually fix. Only 46% now believe that IoT can reduce cycle times in manufacturing and assembly processes – one of the key IoT benefits –  as a prime example.  

The fact that more than 76% of manufacturers still believe the adoption of IoT would give their organisation a competitive advantage, coupled with the simultaneous worry about being left behind, suggests manufacturers agree with the direction of travel, just not the vehicle that will get them to their destination. In 40% of cases, companies still don’t even know how to get started with IoT, a 9% rise on 2020 levels. Providers should be looking to rectify that first step to ensure the industry doesn’t once again get left behind by IoT’s second wave, post-pandemic. 

Ubisense’s report, ‘A Lost Year for IoT in Manufacturing: The Hard Work Begins Now’, was informed by a study of 300 managers, directors and higher-level executives from the industrial manufacturing community across the UK, USA, France and Germany. 

“Manufacturers’ tendency to compare themselves against others when it comes to tech adoption, while at the same time considering themselves so unique so as not to know where to start, manifests in a lost year for the industry becoming more efficient, streamlined and productive,” says Steven Manifold, Chief Marketing Officer at Ubisense.  

“The good news is that, given our research suggests a lack of understanding rather than a complete lack of interest, the industry redoubling its efforts to educate and inform manufacturers should be able to turn this situation around. It’s now up to IoT providers to ensure that manufacturers don’t get left behind for a second time,” adds Manifold.  

About Ubisense  

Ubisense gives software systems intelligence about what’s actually happening in the real world by capturing the location, movement and interaction of things. We do this with industry-leading sensors and an open software platform that business users can easily configure for planning, monitoring and controlling physical process flows. Headquartered in Cambridge UK, Ubisense operates globally with more than 1000 customers, transforming their physical space into SmartSpace.

About Arlington Research 

Arlington Research is a full-service independent market research agency. We provide clients from around the world with robust data via quantitative research, in-depth exploration via qualitative research, and audits on what’s out there already via desk research. All our teams are director level and focused on providing intelligent analysis and creative insight that help our clients bring their stories to life. 


Our director-level team will design your research from sample design to final reporting. Each piece of research is reliable, robust, delivered with a quick turnaround, and analysed to ensure the research creates maximum impact. Our scope of work is broad, and we run research for leading brands and organisations from many different sectors. We are experienced in researching hard-to-reach audiences and markets and we would love to help bring your story to life. 

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An image of Manufacturers IoT, IoT, Manufacturers’ feel they are being left behind in the IoT race

Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech