Maintenance Q&As

What are barriers to IIoT adoption?

Answered May 27 2019

The top five barriers to IIoT adoption, according to Morgan Stanley, are cybersecurity issues, a lack of standardization, an installed legacy system, high upfront investment, and a lack of skilled workers. Let’s explore each of these in turn.


Since IIoT relies on, well, the internet to generate connectivity and nearly instant transmission of data, it puts many manufacturing companies at risk for various cyber attacks. For example, hackers could obtain sensitive data during transmission, take over control of equipment connected to the internet, or even participate in industrial espionage. Finding ways to protect company data, processes, and equipment will continue to be a major barrier to full adoption.

Lack of Standardization

Since practically every manufacturing organization uses a hybrid of proprietary systems along with a variety of purchased hardware and software solutions, the lack of standardization across businesses will be a barrier to IIoT adoption. This is one area where IIoT is different than the Internet of Things (IoT).

Existing Legacy System

As technology has evolved over the last several decades, the old legacy system has always come back to haunt manufacturers. Large, behemoth computer systems that are often proprietary in nature are difficult to change and are not welcoming of integration attempts.

High Upfront Cost

According to Frost & Sullivan, nearly 60 percent of all manufacturers are worried about the costs associated with developing IIoT. The costs of software licensing, applications, and long-term implementation are also top of mind for manufacturers.

In addition, training maintenance technicians and managers takes time and money but is critical to maximizing the investment in your IIoT system.

Few Skilled Workers

Not only are there a lack of individuals who understand the rapidly changing landscape of IIoT technology, but the industry itself is still defining what skills are needed to help companies manage IIoT implementation. The overall system of external partners vs. internal skills required as well as what combination of skills create the most efficient system has not yet been defined.

Even with these and other adoption barriers, Bain & Co. predicts that IIoT will overcome all of these as a whole and grow into a $200 billion market by the year 2021. The bottom line is that IIoT can solve a host of problems for maintenance departments and manufacturing companies as a whole.

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