Insight | Industrial IoT at Sea


Industrial IoT at sea


Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is ushering a new era in digital transformation across our global supply chain. Increasing population growth combined with a surge in how much we consume is placing mounting pressure across our major industries – agriculture, energy, maritime, mining and transport – to deliver quickly, cut costs and meet tightening regulation. Organisations are increasingly looking at leveraging the power of IIoT to search for smarter, cost effective and environmentally sound ways to remain both compliant and competitive.

But just how is the maritime sector embracing IIoT? What are the barriers to adoption? What will the future entail for IIoT at sea? We answer these questions and more in Inmarsat’s 2018 Industrial Internet of Things research paper. Commissioned by Inmarsat, Vanson Bourne, a specialist technology market research company interviews 750 key decision makers about their use of, attitude to and predictions for IIoT within their organisation and industry.

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Key Findings

How mature is the maritime sector in relation to IIoT adoption?

Research showed 34% of respondents see themselves as having ‘fully deployed’ IIoT-based solutions, a proportion that puts maritime ahead of other industries such as agriculture, energy and mining. And 100% of respondents will be adopting some form of electronic fuel monitoring system in response to regulations on emissions. In an industry traditionally dominated by laggards characterised by a general conservative approach, these findings represent a significant shift in philosophy. 

Does the maritime sector have the IT skills needed for IIoT?

The disparity between technology and skillset is still widely prevalent in the industry with 42% of respondents believing their organisations would benefit from additional skills and 68% indicating they would prefer to use an external partner to develop IIoT solutions. 

How mature is the maritime sectors approach to IIOT security?

Cyber security is a key concern for the industry with insecure data collection being cited as the biggest fear amongst respondents (55%) followed by poor network security (50%).  77% are ‘laggards’ when it comes to addressing IIoT security concerns.


are planning to adopt fuel consumption monitoring within 12 months


say cutting insurance premiums is one of the most important adoption drivers


felt that they could improve their data handling processes

How advanced is the maritime sector’s approach to IIoT data?

The biggest use of data collected has been cited for monitoring and improving health and safety (43%), followed closely by cost saving opportunities (40%) and environmental monitoring (40%). Yet lack of timely data has been stated as the biggest concern for IIoT adoption. 

How well is the maritime sector adapting to the connectivity requirements of IIoT?

Satellite connectivity is the most important factor to support IIoT with 69% of respondents saying they rely on satellite connectivity to support their IIoT solutions.

How will the maritime sector invest in IIoT?

Respondents will benefit from an average cost saving of 14% through IIoT-based solution use within five years. They expect to spend more on IIoT than on cloud computing and big data analytics (each at 6%) over the next three years, further indication of the sector’s faith in IIoT.