The energy sector is making solid progress in relation to IIoT adoption, with half of respondents ranking in the IIoT progressive category. Today, 44 per cent of energy companies have deployed IIoT solutions to some extent, and while 84 per cent of these are still in the trial phase, nine in ten expect to have fully deployed IIoT solutions by the end of 2019.

It is interesting to note, however, that distribution companies are somewhat further along their IIoT journey than those engaged in extraction and exploration.

As the arm of an industry that is closest to the consumer, and has been developing smart meter and smart grid technologies for a number of years, this is to an extent to be expected. However it is clear that energy companies further upstream have some catching up to do in order to ensure the energy supply chain functions with complete transparency and efficiency.

HOW MATURE IS THE ENERGY SECTOR IN RELATION TO IIOT ADOPTION? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders

HOW MATURE IS THE ENERGY SECTOR IN RELATION TO IIOT ADOPTION? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders
90%

believe that IoT will be essential to gain a competitive advantage

Nine in ten (90 per cent) energy companies believe that IIoT will be essential for them to gain a competitive advantage, and a similar proportion (89 per cent) believe that they will be left behind without IIoT.

This enthusiasm, combined the rates of adoption and planned adoption, indicate that the future of the energy sector lies in digital technologies.

WHICH OF THE BELOW STATEMENTS DESCRIBES YOUR CURRENT STATUS WHEN IT COMES TO DEPLOYING IIOT-BASED SOLUTIONS? (%)

44% We have deployed to some extent
14% We plan to deploy within 6 months
22% We plan to deploy within 12 months
10% We plan to deploy within 18 months
10% We plan to deploy within 2 years

WHICH OF THE BELOW STATEMENTS DESCRIBES YOUR CURRENT STATUS WHEN IT COMES TO DEPLOYING IIOT-BASED SOLUTIONS? (%)

44% We have deployed to some extent
14% We plan to deploy within 6 months
22% We plan to deploy within 12 months
10% We plan to deploy within 18 months
10% We plan to deploy within 2 years

The ability of IIoT solutions to improve the health and safety of staff, monitor environmental changes and improve resource efficiency are key drivers of IIoT amongst energy companies, though some interesting differences emerge beneath the surface.

Improving the security of sites, for example, was seen as critical for 50 per cent of energy exploration companies – whose remote and embryonic sites may lack the infrastructure of fully-established operations or be located in territories with political instability and conflict.

Driving deployment in the distribution sector is improving resource efficiency within the organisation (69 per cent) and gaining better access to insights and data (57 per cent). These two business activities are critical to the effective and profitable distribution of energy, enabling distributors to do more with less.

With energy extraction and exploration businesses prioritising monitoring health and safety (50 per cent and 61 per cent respectively), and environmental changes (58 per cent and 53 per cent), the focus for these businesses is clearly on the quick wins of IIoT deployment.

Improving the health and safety of staff, monitoring environmental changes and improving resource efficiency are key drivers of IIoT

WHAT IS DRIVING THE DEPLOYMENT OF IIOT SOLUTIONS IN YOUR ORGANISATION? (%)

Improve resource efficiency
Monitoring environmental changes
Improving health and safety
Reduce operational costs
Improving physical security
Better access to data/insights
Greater workforce productivity
Increase customer engagement

WHAT IS DRIVING THE DEPLOYMENT OF IIOT SOLUTIONS IN YOUR ORGANISATION? (%)

Improve resource efficiency
Monitoring environmental changes
Improving health and safety
Reduce operational costs
Improving physical security
Better access to data/insights
Greater workforce productivity
Increase customer engagement

The data suggests that IIoT projects are already starting to deliver their intended outcomes. Over a third (36 per cent) report that they have realised improvements in health and safety, 34 per cent have improved the environmental sustainability of their operations, and while just 10 per cent of energy companies have successfully lowered their insurance premiums to date, a further 35 per cent expect to do so in future.

These results are highly encouraging and give some indication of the sort of change and innovation that IIoT promises to unleash on the energy sector.

36%

have realised improvements in health and safety

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE RESEARCH, DOWNLOAD THE REPORT - INDUSTRIAL IOT ON LAND AND AT SEA: ENERGY

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