The 9 most popular types of IIoT use cases

The Industrial Internet offers an array of potential benefits. Our research sheds light on which focus areas are most popular for Industrial Internet use cases.

Brian Buntz

July 24, 2017

9 Slides

We asked 73 professionals across a range of industries about the focus area of their most recent IoT project. Check out the top nine results in the above IIoT use cases slideshow or in the list below:   

1. Asset tracking and monitoring 

Asset tracking is perhaps the first IoT use case, dating back to Kevin Ashton's idea to electronically track lipstick around the turn of the century. It is fitting that this application is still the most popular, winning 54.5% of votes when we asked 73 industry professionals about the goal of their first IoT implementation.

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2. Automation of manual processes

A robot must be able to sense, plan, and act, according to one classical definition. The Internet of Things aims to do essentially the same thing, which helps explain why 52.1% of our industrial survey participants reported their IoT implementation focused on automation of manual processes.

3. Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance is a cornerstone of smart factories. A total of 45.2% of survey participants reported that their IoT initiatives focused on this topic.

4. Improving safety and security

While IoT security headlines tend to focus on the technologies potential to open up cybersecurity risks, technologies such as video monitoring and remote monitoring can also improve security. A total of 39.7% of participants reported that their IoT initiatives were focused on this topic. 

5. Buildings: energy efficiency and/or automation

The topic of smart buildings is gaining adoption thanks to interest from real-estate and facilities managers. In our survey, 39.7% of participants were interested in improving energy efficiency or automation.

6. Enhanced customer engagement and customer satisfaction

One of the central promises of the Internet of Things is transforming customer experience. In our survey, 35.6% of participants said their most recent IoT project was focused on either improving customer engagement or satisfaction. 

7. Data intelligence to do strategic planning

Nearly one third of our survey participants, 32.9%, plan on using their most recent IoT project to help them with strategic planning.

8. Transforming from a product based model to services based model for customers

Thanks to IoT, a growing number of traditional product offerings are being refashioned as services. A total of 23.3% of survey participants reported that they were undergoing this transition.

9. More agile and efficient product design process

Data from connected devices can be used to improve the design process. A total of 21.9% of participants reported that they were focused on using IoT to make their design process more agile and efficient. 


About the Author(s)

Brian Buntz

Brian is a veteran journalist with more than ten years’ experience covering an array of technologies including the Internet of Things, 3-D printing, and cybersecurity. Before coming to Penton and later Informa, he served as the editor-in-chief of UBM’s Qmed where he overhauled the brand’s news coverage and helped to grow the site’s traffic volume dramatically. He had previously held managing editor roles on the company’s medical device technology publications including European Medical Device Technology (EMDT) and Medical Device & Diagnostics Industry (MD+DI), and had served as editor-in-chief of Medical Product Manufacturing News (MPMN).

At UBM, Brian also worked closely with the company’s events group on speaker selection and direction and played an important role in cementing famed futurist Ray Kurzweil as a keynote speaker at the 2016 Medical Design & Manufacturing West event in Anaheim. An article of his was also prominently on, a website dedicated to Kurzweil’s ideas.

Multilingual, Brian has an M.A. degree in German from the University of Oklahoma.

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