Accenture has released a report finding that industrial applications of the Internet of Things could boost the global economy by $14.2 trillion during the next 15 years. Yet, despite the growing availability and falling costs of sensors, processors and other industrial IoT (IIoT) tools, the report says that the potential impact of industrial IoT applications rests largely on manufacturers making a fundamental shift from merely making products to offering a hybrid of products and services built on the ability (borne through IoT systems) to measure and predict the outcomes of industrial systems.

Accenture calls this the "outcome economy." These outcomes might include guarantees that end users of IoT-enabled products will save energy, or increase yields.

Accenture found that few of the world's leading companies are ready to embrace this kind of shift in objective, however.

It collaborated with the Industrial Internet Consortium to conduct a survey among more than 90 executives whose firms are actively pursuing IIoT initiatives. While most respondents called the IIoT a net creator of jobs and expect it will reduce their operational expense, 88 percent admitted that they "still do not fully understand the underlying business models and long-term implications of the IIoT," according to the report. And nearly three quarters say they have not yet made "concrete progress" with IoT technology.