The Internet of Things is causing the worlds of informational technologies and operational technologies to collide, and this collision will only get louder as suppliers and enterprises confront its complexity, opportunities, and challenges. The IT and OT Convergence sector examines the communications and protocol technologies linking the physical and digital domains and vying to create the smart factories and next-generation industrial processes of the future. The next generation enterprise will also need to implement new technologies such as beacons, augmented and virtual reality, and innovative uses of wearable technologies to create a more seamless workplace of machines and people. Billions of new connected endpoints also require that security be a top priority from the shop floor through to the data center. Finally, special focus is given to key markets that present some of the greatest complexities and opportunities as IT and OT merge and compete, including smart transportation, smart cities, and industrial robotics.
Over the decades since the first coin-op machines, vending machines have continued to grow in both size and complexity. Vending companies have also grown their offerings from candy and newspapers to specialty products that include hot food prepared while you wait and even the selection of a new vehicle. Payment methods have also evolved from coin-operated to cash and to credit, and debit cards to mobile and contactless forms.
And while technology is becoming a key component of modern vending offerings, the industry is pursuing smart ways to reuse older vending machine cabinets by refurbishing outdated machines and giving them a new digitized life with touch screen displays, product nutritional information, and flexible payment methods. Specialty vendors have even redeployed vintage cigarette vending machines to dispense art.
This study examines the market opportunity to connect vending machines to the internet, and more specifically, the underlying business models that are being used to optimize filling and servicing machines, offer digital conveniences for payment and user engagement, and delivering insights about machine performance and customer behavior.