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Internet of Things

The "Internet of Things" is one of the key drivers of digitalization

The term "Internet of Things" is a synonym for one of the major dynamics of change of today's time - the increasing networking and automation of gadgets, machines and products.  Industry 4.0 is part of this changing dynamics and mainly concerns the production process in a "Smart Factory" through highly integrated and automated machines.  The "Internet of Things" is focused not only on production, but also on the usage of digitized and integrated devices and products along the entire value chain of a company. Both the topics touch upon the opportunities of increased networking at various levels - from the device and machine levels, through the machinery levels as well as product and device groups till the vertical and horizontal business processes.

Source: Experton, 2016

Both the topics touch upon the opportunities of increased networking at various levels - from the device and machine levels, through the machinery levels (in production) or product and device groups (for use by customers) till the vertical and horizontal business processes.

The vast majority of companies are still at the budding stage

The market for Industry 4.0 (I4.0) and "Internet of Things (IoT)" is no doubt at its beginning stage. However, rather advanced and complex lighthouse projects rule the discussion. It is about "digital pioneers", who are dealing with this topic for many years now - long before these terms were even coined. Providers are on the scene and emphasize on their competence in this domain through drawing references of clients who have already made considerable progress in this matter. The biggest threat in this discussion is the fact that the vast majority of companies in the market are not aware of the real situation.  It is crucial that majority of the companies understand how to address this topic and which providers to approach for the same.

Surveys conducted by the Experton Group reveal that so far there are no central contact persons in the companies handling the topic "digitalization", Industry 4.0 or "Internet of Things". Meaning, that clients are not currently handling the topic strategically (Top-Down), but rather from a project perspective (Bottom-Up).  We are convinced that this scenario will change increasingly, however as of now this remains the current situation. The clients can choose from two pragmatic approaches for their I4.0/IoT- projects, either an individual complete solution or a standardized platform. Individual complete solutions (including the necessary consulting and system integration) around automation and networking has already been there in the market for some time, and providers could refer to these competences and experiences.  Standardized platforms on the other hand, are at a very initial stage of their development and the opportunities they have to offer and their functions are still unclear. As the illustration would show, both the approaches have their advantages in varying situations.

Source: Experton, 2016