MPI Group states that almost 70% of manufacturers believe that leveraging IoT development will increase their profit. What’s more, IDC forecasts that spending on IoT technology will reach a trillion US dollars by 2022. IoT adoption is one of the top trends in enterprise automation. And this comes only logical as the use of connected devices helps to automate and optimize operations. What's more, IoT sensors enable us to collect large amounts of data, which we can use for predictive analytics and preventative maintenance. 

What are the hottest IoT trends in manufacturing for 2020? Do you need to embrace them? Let’s find out. 

IoT trend #1: More IoT

The first IoT trend in manufacturing is introducing more IoT devices.

With the help of IoT, manufacturers can boost the speed of production, improve the product quality as well as make the manufacturing process more cost-efficient. According to MarketsandMarkets research, the manufacturers are expected to invest up to $45.3B in IoT implementation by 2022. The figures used to be $12,7B back in 2017 - that is how rapidly this industry evolves. 

ICT states that discrete manufacturing, process manufacturing, transportation, and utilities will invest the largest share in IoT.

Benefit from IoT trends in manufacturing

IoT trend #2: SaaS

The next IoT trend in manufacturing is using SaaS. Software as a Service or SaaS is a cloud-based service that allows data access from any device with an Internet connection. SaaS solutions do not require software installation, thus they are more accessible. Manufacturers benefit significantly from SaaS solutions, as they are way cheaper than maintaining the servers and provide more scalability and flexibility, 

However, this industrial IoT trend does also pose some security challenges, so you should choose your cloud computing partner wisely. If you want to know more of the best cloud computing companies in Europe - check out the article

With the help of our engineers, one of our partners - Fluke, a US-based manufacturing company, has implemented an effective and secure SaaS solution. Our professionals have ensured high-security standards for the SaaS application. The N-iX team has applied security architecture best practices and used data encryption for protecting data both in transit and at rest.

We will cover IoT security trends in more detail further in the article. 

SaaS as an IoT trend in manufacturing

IoT trend #3: Edge computing over cloud computing

Cloud computing in manufacturing is used in the modern Internet of Things market to make real-life data sharing and data analysis more effective. Cloud computing and Big Data analytics help to anticipate maintenance needs and minimize downtime. However, more and more devices are entering the Internet of things market, so the scope of data to be stored and analyzed gets bigger. As a result, edge computing entered the list of IoT trends. 

IBM defines edge computing as a distributed computing framework that brings enterprise applications closer to data sources such as IoT devices or local edge servers. So, it means storing data closer to the device which collects it, rather than storing it in the centralized cloud somewhere far away, which helps to improve response time and save bandwidth. That does not, however, mean that the cloud will disappear. Cloud and edge computing will go together and reinforce each other. Indeed, edge computing as an IoT trend in manufacturing will complement cloud computing, as it can get information collected from various sensors within the factory and transform it into insightful data. 

This trend is not as perfect as it seems, though. Edge computing can bring about cybersecurity issues as the devices that store and process data are often less secure than the centralized cloud.

IoT trend #4: Cybersecurity will be a bigger priority 

The next IoT trend in manufacturing is the increased attention to cybersecurity. Aruba Networks states that 84% of organizations that have adopted IoT have experienced an IoT-related security breach. As a result, cybersecurity is getting more and more critical these days, thus becoming an IoT security trend. 

Manufacturers have to keep in mind a whole range of aspects to prevent data leaks. Remember, the IoT system has the same security level as its weakest element. 

Edge computing that we have covered in the previous passage is one more reason why cybersecurity is a pressing issue for the manufacturers. As data can be accessed from different devices, the need for additional security measures arise. This fact, in turn, leads to an increase in security budgets. 

There are several cybersecurity aspects you need to pay attention to in the IoT manufacturing process. Firstly, it is way cheaper to handle cybersecurity issues at the early stages. Secondly, you need to think of a product’s API carefully, so that the exposed functionality is not wider than is really needed. Also, you should think of the procedure of adding and removing devices from the IoT system. 

To find out more about possible security issues and ways to tackle them - read the article by our IoT security expert.

IoT trend #5: The cybersecurity talent crisis

Here is one more IoT security trend. The cybersecurity talent shortage is getting alarmingly worse: PwC states that the workforce gap in this sphere will widen from 1M to 1,5M job openings. That is a major recruitment problem that prompts companies to hire employees who lack experience, thus cybersecurity issues stay in place. To tackle the problem, many companies opt for finding experienced specialists overseas and outsource to Eastern Europe or Asia.

IoT trend #6: Predictive analytics and maintenance 

One more IoT trend in manufacturing is predictive or condition-based maintenance with the help of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Manufacturing needs predictive maintenance, as neither reactive (fixing the already existing failures) nor proactive (using experience to anticipate potential breakdowns) ways of addressing the problem are sufficient enough nowadays. So, manufacturers are expected to use predictive maintenance apps boosted up by IoT. 

Big Data and AI make the analysis of vast ranges of information possible. Both these industrial IoT trends give the ability to recognize patterns in the great scopes of data, thus can predict when the machine may fail. As a result, it will be easier to fix the problem and reduce operational maintenance costs up to 50%

Another reason why Big Data and AI matter is that manufacturers are now able to use the insights to make smarter and faster decisions they will benefit from. Fluke is an instance of successful predictive maintenance. N-iX professionals have developed FM Alarms for the client. This is the product that helps detect unusual behavior of the equipment and sends a notification to the maintenance specialist's mobile device.

IoT trend #7: Customized machine experience

The following IoT trend in manufacturing is customizing your machine according to the users' needs. The ability to customize the machine according to one's requirements is becoming a standard in modern manufacturing. The more effortless operation and monitoring of your machine are - the better. 

The remote control over your machines, effortless and instant information sharing, SaaS platform, a mobile application - all these make the production process more efficient.

IoT trend #8: Sensors

Last but not least, among the industrial IoT trends is using more sensors to get various data. Indeed, IoT enabled sensors can help manufacturers record, generate, and understand information. Sensors can read data of any kind: from temperature to volume and vibrations, and transfer this information to the analytics system. This facilitates the manufacturing process as IoT, in this case, provides seamless information flows within the production.  

Thus sensors have one of the critical parts in the IoT, as they help decrease defects, enhance customer experience, and reduce costs. As a result, this industrial IoT trend will also rule in 2020.

most popular industrial trends in manufacturing


IoT technologies are aimed at facilitating and optimizing the processes in manufacturing. So, if you want to make your business more efficient - you have to keep tabs on the latest trends and implement them. With meaningful insights gained with the help of Big Data and AI, as well SaaS solutions, edge computing, and other industrial IoT trends you will be able to make smart decisions both you and your customers will benefit from. 

To make sure that IoT implementation is smooth and easy - choose your IoT services provider wisely. 

Please, feel free to contact our experts.