Where is South Africa’s industrial internet of things innovation?
A growing number of inventive startups has fed expectations that South Africa can be a hub for innovation in the industrial internet of things (IIoT). And while there has been progress and examples of the deployment of IIoT-related technology in the industrial sector in the country, there are roadblocks to more rapid growth, typically involving difficulty in making the business case for implementing new applications. IIoT is a subset of IoT that includes connecting devices and machinery in industrial sectors to monitoring, control and data analysis systems. It involves the merger of enterprise IT with operational technology, or OT – the instrumentation of physical devices and processes. In South Africa, 2019 was to be the year that home-grown startups would lead innovation in the sector, according to Frost & Sullivan’s 2019 ICT trends for South Africa. Whether the actual number of IIoT deployments has lived up to expectations may be debatable, but there appears to be broad interest in field.