The Industrial Internet of People

Three reasons why the factory of the future will be the one with the best-connected people in it.

The Industrial Internet of Things gets a lot of exposure.

But does the future of manufacturing really rest on automation?

Scroll down to find out.

01The outlook

The recession is showing signs of recovery. It’s time to invest.

Growth performance in US manufacturing is the highest it’s been in a decade.1

Business confidence in Latin America (LATAM) has moved into ’optimistic’ territory for the first time since mid-2013.2

GDP growth in Europe is projected at 2.1% this year.3

Growth in developing East Asia and Pacific (APAC) is expected to remain stable in 2018 at 6.3% in 2018.4

Manufacturing is now contributing $8.95 trillion to the global economy – and that number’s rising fast.5

All this growth means it’s time to invest. And manufacturers know it.

50% are already planning to ramp up production, increase productivity, maximize downtime, and optimize workflow efficiency.6

02The hype:

“Automation is the future”

Automation is still the biggest trend among manufacturers today.7

It’s why manufacturers are setting their sights on the Industrial Internet of Things.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of ‘smart’ things, communicating and exchanging data autonomously – everything from TVs and toasters to thermostats and medical devices.

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) is that same network, harnessing the sensor data, machine-to-machine communication and automation technologies that exist in industrial settings.

And that’s not a bad idea – IIOT shows heaps of potential:

Estimates show that IIOT could add $14.2 trillion8 in additional value to the global economy by 2030.

59%9 of manufacturing organizations are now gathering information to build their Artificial Intelligence (AI) strategies, while others have already made progress in piloting or adopting AI solutions.

59% of manufacturing activities can (and soon will) be automated.10


03 The reality:

People aren’t going anywhere

Almost half of manufacturing still relies on people.

If 59% of manufacturing activities can be automated, that means almost half of manufacturing still relies on people…

And not just any half…people are still responsible for tasks like:

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Measuring, grading and feeding raw materials into production machinery with precision

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Operating and monitoring sensitive production-line equipment, ensuring maximum uptime

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Assembling products on the production line with care

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Keeping plants secure and coworkers safe 24/7

And evidence suggests those tasks won’t be automatable any time soon.11

That’s why smart manufacturers aren’t just investing in connected ‘things’.

They’re investing in connected people.

04 The future:

The Industrial Internet of People

30% of manufacturers say they want SCADA systems.12

71% of manufacturers want to seamlessly connect all communication devices.13

52% of US manufacturing companies are looking to enable real-time messaging.14

Two-way radio is growing among manufacturers: 45% use it as their primary form of communication, up from 32% in 2015.

49% of two-way radio users say they’ll go digital within two years.15

What’s happening here is the emergence of the Industrial Internet of People.

A movement that’s being powered by unified communications.

Unified communications (UC) describes the integration of enterprise comms services like instant messaging, presence information and voice with non-real-time communication services like unified messaging (integrated voicemail, e-mail, SMS and fax).

Industrial unified communications (IUC) describes the same integration, optimized for industrial communication services.

05 The three reasons:

Why the ‘factory of the future’ will be the one with the best-connected people in it

Connected people = productivity gains

User organizations who invest in more efficient message management save:

  • Up to 20 minutes per employee per day.16
  • Up to 86 hours per employee per year.
  • Up to 3010 hours per year per plant (with an average of 35 workers).

0 minutes

0 hours

0 hours

Or an extra 1.5 employees – at no additional cost.


Connected people = uptime gains

Using industrial unified communications, manufacturers on average achieve 0-30% reductions in downtime.17

That means:

  • Fewer production losses
  • Greater capacity
  • Reduced labor costs per unit
  • Smaller lot sizes
  • Lower inventory levels
  • Increased responsiveness
  • Reputation protection
  • Happier employees
  • More time for innovation

Connected people = workflow gains

Manufacturers doing the most to take advantage of human-machine collaboration gain an average of:

10x improvements in at least one process.18

Imagine what that looks like…

06 The takeaway:

The future of manufacturing relies on connected people

People are the heart of manufacturing operations.

And that’s not going to change any time soon.

So although connected ‘things’ are important for your business, your operation won’t thrive without connected people.

Get ‘Upgrade Your Teamwork’ and learn how to connect your people using industrial unified communications.