NEW research commissioned by global mobile satellite communications provider, Inmarsat, has found a rapid increase in the adoption of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) in agriculture over the past year in response to COVID-19.
According to the research conducted throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific, 80 per cent of agricultural respondents have now fully deployed at least one IoT project, and a further 86pc indicated they have or they intend to accelerate the adoption of IoT in response to the pandemic.
It reveals a rapid increase in the maturity level of the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) across the agricultural sector since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Respondents, including crop producers, OEMs, service providers and livestock businesses, reported that Covid-19 has demonstrated the importance of IoT to their businesses, with many accelerating IoT deployments in response to the pandemic.
According to the research, adoption has seen huge progress from 2020 to 2021.
Of the 80pc of agricultural respondents who have now fully deployed at least one IoT project, 53pc achieved this in the 12-month period from the second quarter of 2020.
Of the remaining 20 per cent of agricultural respondents that have not yet adopted IoT in any form, all are either currently trialling it, or plan to deploy or trial at least one IoT project in the next two years.
The 86pc of agricultural respondents who indicated they have or they intend to accelerate the adoption of IoT in response to challenges related to Covid-19 includes 46pc who have already accelerated IoT adoption to respond to Covid-19, versus 29pc who will accelerate over the next 12 months and 11pc who will accelerate beyond the next 12 months.
The 46pc who have already accelerated IoT adoption are less likely to state that Covid-19 has negatively impacted their ability to operate, demonstrating a link between IoT and business continuity during the pandemic.
Additionally, 60pc of respondents in the sector indicated that business and operational challenges related to Covid-19 have underlined the importance of IoT.
Inmarsat director of market development, Steven Tompkins, said whilst the agriculture sector had coped well through the Covid-19 pandemic, as with most industries it had faced challenges, particularly in terms of labour availability and supply chain impacts.
“As a result, agricultural businesses have either sped up deployment of IoT projects, or plan to do so in the next couple of years, with greater automation and cost savings being seen as the largest drivers,” he said.
“We have seen agricultural producers take on more and more solutions that allow them to operate remotely, from autonomous irrigation control to the latest precision farming technologies, demonstrating increased faith in the technology.”
To use the IoT Maturity tool and download the full report – ‘‘Industrial IoT in the Time of Covid-19’ – visit: inmarsat.com/iot2021