The concept of the the Internet of Things (IoT) is gradually taking hold in the consumer world, and now a new report is looking at how the same concepts can be applied in the business world too.
The so-called Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) could see the emergence of new services and business models based on intelligent connected devices and machines, according to consultants Accenture, and could boost growth in mature markets. However, these gains are at risk because companies and governments are not taking sufficient action to see wide adoption of digital technologies, it warns.
By 2030, capital investments in the IIoT and the productivity gains "that should follow" are expected to add $6.1tn to the US's cumulative GDP, Accenture said.
"If the US were to invest 50 percent more in IIoT technologies and improve enabling factors, such as its skills and broadband networks," the report continues, "the gain could reach US$7.1tn by 2030".
In the report, Accenture predicts similar gains for other countries around the world from China to Germany. The only potential issue, they believe, is the fact that, "73 percent of companies have yet to make concrete plans for the IIoT".
The lack of commitment to the IIoT is is largely because of the difficulty of applying it to generate new revenue streams the report said.
Although a majority (57 per cent) of business leaders say that new revenues will be the greatest opportunity of the IIoT, fewer than one in seven think their company will actually benefit in this way, the report said.
Instead, their companies are focused on using the IIoT to make efficiency gains and see employee productivity and reduced operational expenses - cited by 46 and 44 per cent respectively - as the most likely benefits for their companies.
Eighty-seven percent of business leaders believe that the IIoT will be a net creator of jobs, according to the research. Accenture surveyed than 1,400 global business leaders, of whom 736 are CEOs.