The IoT and the Supply Chain
The Internet of Things market is set to have a considerable impact on the electronics supply chain, affecting everything from purchasing to design to the plant floor.
It will play out in different ways for each party, but industry watchers agree that the potential for 50 billion connected devices by 2020 (according to technology company Cisco and others) means increased business opportunities across the board.
“The statistics don’t lie. The number of connected devices [in the future] is going to be massive,” says Dianne Kibbey, global head of community for electronics distributor and online community element14, which surveyed 3,500 customers on the potential of the technology earlier this year. “And there is so much development going on. If you think of everything in your life that is going to be connected—and also all the industrial and manufacturing applications that can benefit from this—every aspect of engineering is going to be affected by this technology.”
That includes design engineers, purchasing professionals, and employees on the plant floor. The element14 study—Engineering a Connected World—identified some of the hottest markets for IoT technology today and in the years ahead, and other industry researchers have pointed to key factors driving the potential of the Industrial IoT—a subset of the IoT that will have an impact on the plant floor. Here’s a look at how IoT trends may play out across the electronics supply chain.