Disruption and digitisation: the mining companies leading the way in the internet of things

Fortescue Metals and Vale are among the companies best positioned to take advantage of future internet of things disruption in the mining industry, according to analysis from GlobalData.

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The assessment comes from GlobalData’s Thematic Research ecosystem, which ranks companies on a scale of one to five based on their likelihood to tackle challenges like the internet of things (IoT) and emerge as long-term winners of the mining sector.

According to our analysis, Fortescue Metals, Vale, Rio Tinto, and BHP are the companies best positioned to benefit from investments in IoT, all of them recording scores of five out of five in GlobalData’s Mining Thematic Scorecard.

The table below shows how GlobalData analysts scored the biggest companies in the mining industry on their IoT performance, as well as the number of new IoT jobs, deals, patents, and mentions in company reports since January 2021.

The final column in the table represents the overall score given to that company when it comes to their current IoT position relative to their peers. A score of five indicates that a company is a dominant player in this space, while companies that score less than three are vulnerable to being left behind.

The other datapoints in the table are more nuanced, showcasing recent IoT investment across a range of areas over the past year. These metrics give an indication of whether IoT is at the top of executives’ minds now, but high numbers in these fields are just as likely to represent desperate attempts to catch-up as they are genuine strength in IoT.

For example, a high number of mentions of IoT in quarterly company filings could indicate either the company is reaping the rewards of previous investments, or it needs to invest more to catch up with the rest of the industry. Similarly, a high number of deals could indicate that a company is dominating the market, or that it is using mergers and acquisitions to fill in gaps in its offering.