Report: IIoT key for sustainability in global supply chain

Inmarsat Services Ltd

Tuesday, 06 November, 2018

Report: IIoT key for sustainability in global supply chain

Improving the environmental sustainability of their operations through the adoption of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies is a crucial priority for organisations engaged in the global supply chain, according to a new a study undertaken on behalf of satellite communications company Inmarsat.

The report ‘IIoT on Land and at Sea’ found that over one-fifth (21%) of businesses surveyed reported full IIoT adoption, with a further quarter reporting that they were in the trial stage of IIoT deployment. There are a number of drivers for IIoT adoption, though almost half (46%) of respondents reported that monitoring environmental conditions (such as water, soil and air quality) and improving resource efficiency are the two largest drivers.

The research also highlighted that many global supply chain organisations are realising their sustainability objectives through the use of IIoT — over two-thirds (67%) of respondents with fully deployed or trial-stage IIoT solutions stated they were achieving environmental sustainability improvements. Early successes in achieving sustainability objectives have been seen in the implementation of smart electrical grids, smart street lighting, environmental monitoring, and fuel efficiency monitoring and telemetry.

However, the research also uncovered that those organisations with unreliable connectivity were less likely to be achieving improved environmental sustainability. Access to reliable and resilient connectivity is essential for IIoT technologies to function, enabling the constant transmission of data to optimise operations — and with many global supply chain organisations operating in remote regions or at sea, where terrestrial networks are not available, satellite communications networks are key to achieving this.

“The global supply chain is faced with a multitude of challenges, tasked with reducing its impact on the environment and adhering to stricter government regulations, while accommodating the needs of a growing population,” said Paul Gudonis, President at Inmarsat Enterprise. “Our research shows that organisations are adopting IIoT to help them achieve these goals, and that many are succeeding in this aim.

“However, it is clear that without the right connectivity networks, IIoT deployments won’t succeed in delivering the improvements in sustainability they are capable of. The global nature of the supply chain means that organisations need reliable connectivity to gather mission-critical data from every area of their operations and analyse it in real time, though patchy terrestrial coverage makes this challenging. With global and reliable coverage, only satellite communications offers the levels of connectivity organisations need to make IIoT a success.”

As a provider of mobile satellite connectivity for Industrial IoT deployments across the global supply chain, Inmarsat owns and operates an L-band satellite network offering 99.9% availability suitable for critical IIoT applications, rugged and energy-efficient terminals, and low-latency data transmission. It is thus a suitable connectivity solution for enabling monitoring and automation applications in remote and hostile environments.

To view the research microsite and download the full report, visit

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