Buildings and cities sector in UAE & KSA warm up to IIoT

Honeywell report says 70% of buildings and cities sector companies in the two countries eye IIoT spending by 2024

IIoT, big data and analytics technologies are helping reduce operating and maintenance expenses and cut energy costs, said Mitri.
IIoT, big data and analytics technologies are helping reduce operating and maintenance expenses and cut energy costs, said Mitri.

Almost three quarters (70%) of medium-to-large companies in the buildings and cities sector in the UAE and Saudi Arabia are expected to increase their spending on digitalisation and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) in the next five years, a new report by Honeywell says.

The IIoT Market Spotlight: UAE & Saudi Arabia report reveals that that senior decision-makers in the sector are eyeing IIoT tech to capture key benefits including improved operational efficiencies (53%), time savings (50%) and increased revenues (26%), and the possibility of increase in smart-city tech investments in the Middle East from $1.3bn in 2018 to $2.7bn by 2022.

Experts attribute the positive forecast to the acceleration of digitalisation within urban ecosystems as environmental and economic benefits become clear.

“IIoT, big data and analytics technologies are helping improve the safety, security, productivity, and energy efficiency of urban areas around the world while reducing operating and maintenance expenses and cutting energy costs,” said George Bou Mitri, Honeywell Building Technologies’ (MEA & Turkey) vice president and general manager.

Amongst the many challenges for the sector to overcome, the report revealed that almost half (43%) of surveyed executives highlight a lack of digital culture and a lack of qualified staff and training in their organisation as a key hurdle to the adoption of IIoT technologies. More than a third (37%) of respondents said data protection issues are a key concern, and 34% cited budgetary pressures as presenting a key obstacle.

“By aggregating data from disparate systems, we can gain powerful operational insights and enable real-time decision-making that brings many benefits, ranging from improved traffic management, security, and crowd monitoring in cities, to enhanced occupant comfort and reduced downtime for a building’s mechanical assets,” Mitri added.

Honeywell recently launched two ‘innovation’ and ‘knowledge-exchange’ hubs in the UAE in the past year, with plans to open a new training and knowledge-sharing hub for IIoT technologies in Riyadh, KSA.

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