Inmarsat: Ag accelerates IoT adoption in response to COVID-19

September 24, 2021  - By
Image: William_Potter/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Image: William_Potter/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

New Inmarsat research reveals a rapid increase in levels of industrial IoT maturity in 2021, with agricultural businesses accelerating IoT adoption in response to COVID-19

Research by Inmarsat, a global mobile satellite communications company, 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, with 86% of ag business accelerating or intending to accelerate deployment.

Respondents in the report, “Industrial IoT in the Time of COVID-19,” include crop producers, OEMs, service providers and livestock businesses, who report that COVID-19 demonstrated the importance of IoT to their businesses.

According to the research, adoption has seen huge progress from 2020 to 2021, with automation and cost savings the greatest drivers. Four-fifths (80%) of agricultural respondents have now fully deployed at least one IoT project, with 53% having achieved this in the 12-month period from the second quarter of 2020. Of the remaining 20% of agricultural respondents that have not yet adopted IoT in any form, all of them are either currently trialing it, or plan to deploy or trial at least one IoT project in the next two years.

Chart: Inmarsat

Chart: Inmarsat

A further 86% of agricultural respondents indicated they have or they intend to accelerate the adoption of IoT in response to challenges related to COVID-19. This figure includes 46% who have already accelerated IoT adoption to respond to COVID-19, versus 29% who will accelerate over the next 12 months and 11% who will accelerate beyond the next 12 months.

The 46% that 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, more than half (60%) of respondents in the sector indicated that business and operational challenges related to COVID-19 have underlined the importance of IoT.

“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,” said Steven Tompkins, Director of Market Development at Inmarsat.

As part of the research, Inmarsat is offering businesses the opportunity to measure their IoT readiness compared to the respondents in the survey, using their free IoT maturity tool.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.