eCommerce and IIoT can reduce COVID impact: Experts

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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GMI Summit 2020 Image
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Experts say that through an essential integration of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) applications and e-commerce channels, the damage inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic on global supply chains could be minimized.

According to speakers at a virtual panel discussion at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialization Summit (GMIS), the need for seamless integration between IIoT and e-commerce has become “imperative given the disruption caused by the coronavirus.”

In addition to adding end-to-end visibility to the supply chains, it will also enable smoother real-time transactions, said Helena Lisachuk, Deloitte ‘s global IoT leader.

The IIoT refers to interconnected sensors and machines that are coordinated with industrial applications like manufacturing and managing electricity.

According to the Indian research firm Valuates, the global IIoT market size is projected to touch $118.4 billion in the next five years, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 8.83%.

Ms. Lisachuk opined that the combination of e-commerce and IIoT have the potential to help enterprises address the increasing demand for product customization.

Helena Lisachuk Image
Helena Lisachuk
Global IoT leader, Deloitte.

“You personalize your experience as much as possible on e-commerce platforms. Bringing that experience towards the industrial space, you could learn a lot from e-commerce models in terms of personalization, customization and distribution.”

Further, the experts highlighted that the integration of e-commerce and IIoT platforms will enable manufacturers of industrial machinery to offer additional services that can enhance their future business prospects.

It is important that small and medium-sized enterprises collaborate to develop a platform of partnership. This is because these enterprises are often highly specialized manufacturers and play a critical role in supply chain growth.

The panelists added that it is integral to ensure that SMEs are not left behind. This will require cooperation among all players, especially when it comes to sharing the cost of building platforms for technology, they said.

The panelists were speaking at the third edition of GMIS, a collaborative effort between the UAE and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. The event was supposed to take place in April in Hannover but was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The first edition of GMIS was held in 2017 at Paris Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi and witnessed the presence of over 3,000 representatives from business, government, and civil society.