Automation IIoT Reliability

Research | How to ‘Escape IIoT Pilot Purgatory”

Grant Gerke | November 9, 2018

Simply put, the stakes are high for digital pilot projects and executives, reliability teams and technicians are trying to put their best foot forward…or face pilot purgatory. To avoid pilot stagnation and apply these new digital solutions to the enterprise, manufacturers have approached IIoT projects with an agile software methodology, promoting small, incremental applications to show proof of concept and then scale.

>> Related Article | Jim Wetzel Stresses Continuous Improvement for Manufacturers

A recent white paper, called, “Growth Engine: Scaling Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies in Production” from the World Economic Forum and McKinsey and Company delve into topics like pilot purgatory, scaling-up and overall strategies, to name a few. Responses and interviews for the white paper include the World Economic Forum constituent base, composed of 45 industrial and technology solution providers, 25 government officials and more than 40 expert academics. Plus, the research incorporates results from McKinsey’s Global Expert Survey (over 300 respondents) and IoT Practitioners’ Survey (over 100 respondents).

From the research, below, sound familiar?

While several pioneering companies and early adopters praise technology’s positive impact, adoption remains slow and limited across all industry sectors. More than 70% of industrial companies are still either at the start of the journey or unable to go beyond the pilot stage.

That raises quite a few questions about scaling: Are business cases or strategies been articulated across all departments? Are disparate production platforms across enterprises causing serious delays? Are businesses looking for bigger optimization in the enterprise and trying to get “all their ducks in a row”?

Or, does it fall back to management.  Joe Barkai, the author of The Outcome Economy writes in a recent blog post about return-on-investment, “companies should view IIoT as radical technology and business innovation aimed at business disruption.”

Other takeaways from the white paper include:

• Only 29% of industrial companies have started to roll out new technological solutions across their production processes

• 41% are still piloting solutions at a single site or business unit, and the remaining 30% have yet to or are about to start the journey.

• More than 400 global digital manufacturing experts have confirmed the slow pace of adoption, which is true across industries and regions.

DOWNLOAD |  Growth Engine: Scaling Fourth Industrial Revolution Technologies in Production




Grant Gerke

Grant Gerke

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