By offering third-party-enabled Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based products and solutions, industrial automation vendors have evolved to provide proprietary digital platforms via the Product-as-a-Service (PaaS) business model. The trend of digitalisation in end-user industries prompted automation vendors to invest in IIoT technologies across diverse applications.
They are now looking to integrate these technologies to complement conventional automation systems and give end users better control over the systems’ functionality.
Rohit Karthikeyan, Senior Research Analyst, Industrial Automation & Process Control at Frost & Sullivan, stated: "The advent of Industry 4.0 is disrupting the partnership ecosystem in industrial automation, with start-ups and independent software vendors (ISVs) partnering with automation vendors to develop digital capabilities and solutions. Automation vendors will aim to standardise their portfolios through M&As and partnerships, and drive growth in their respective business segments. The consolidation of their IIoT portfolios will result in the upselling and cross-selling of automation solutions and create fresh revenue streams."
Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, ‘Global Industrial Automation Market Outlook, 2018’, highlights the IIoT platform offerings of major automation companies and compares their products and services. It underlines the role of start-ups with niche capabilities in operational and information technologies in 2017. The analysis also details the market landscape of the key participants in process automation, hybrid automation, and discrete automation markets.
Karthikeyan added: "As the North American and European markets are in the midst of a downturn, vendors are focusing on the developing economies of Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Latin America. Not only do these regions have a high number of Greenfield projects, but they also enjoy significant government support. More than 40 percent of the end users in these markets are small- and medium-sized enterprises encouraging vendors to deliver cost-effective products and educate them on the value of IIoT-ready solutions in process optimisation and control."
In addition to maximising market expansion opportunities, proactive automation vendors will also explore opportunities in: