One of the many components of an Internet of Things solution is the IoT platform (other components are connectivity, devices and sensors, etc.).
Although it’s only a few years old, the IoT platform market is hot. Report after report we see how organizations are increasingly moving to IoT platforms as they further invest in IoT projects and solutions in a more ‘mature’ way, beyond the pilot stages as they are effectively doing according to IDC.
The IoT platform market is growing fast and in coming years we’ll start seeing consolidations as competition increases and there is no single IoT platform that offers an all-round approach, making the big players look at others who have more specific solutions or capabilities in their solutions.
What is an IoT platform?
An IoT platform combines several software functions into one solution to enable companies to develop and deploy Internet of Things solutions faster, better and cheaper.
Although the existing platforms do have many of these functions in common there are quite some differences in the various offerings with sometimes very different features. However, the term IoT platform is also used for many types of platforms.
In the strict sense and, when we talk about it, an IoT platform is really an IoT Application Enablement Platform (AEP).
There are probably over a hundred and even a few hundreds players in this space now. Just some examples of companies and solutions which are probably better known (the vendors at least), although this isn’t some judgement on quality of the many others out there: Amazon (AWS IoT), AT&T (AT&T IoT Platform), Bosch (Bosch IoT Suite), Ericsson (Application Platform for IoT), Gemalto (SensorLogic), HPE (HPE Universal IoT Platform), IBM (Watson IoT Platform), Microsoft (Azure: Stream Analytics, IoT Hub, IoT Suite), PTC (ThingWorx Technology Platform), SAP (SAP HANA Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things) and Software AG (IoT Foundation).
Worldwide IoT Application Enablement Platforms: the fastest growing IoT technology sector
MachNation is one of many who studies the IoT platform market. The company released a new benchmark in December 2016, the IoT Platform ScoreCard, which looks at 35 of such AEPs to watch in 2017 (those just mentioned are all in it).
According to MachNation the IoT platform market has become the fastest growing IoT technology sector with an expected growth of a whopping 116 percent (!) in 2017, based on the survey data from the 35 IoT Application Enablement Platform vendors. The market would reach USD2.0 billion, with 70 percent of this revenue coming from North America and Western Europe. That’s indeed what we can call rapid growth.
And it’s not done yet. In the executive summary PDF, MachNation predicts that global IoT application enablement and device management revenue will reach $1.1 billion this year and $83.4 billion by 2025. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 62 percent between now and 2025. Not the same amazing triple-digit growth of next year but certainly an equally impressive double-digit CAGR.
The reasons for this growth, according: organizations which are investing in IoT solutions reduce development time and costs when using an IoT Application Enablement Platform.
Two types of IoT application enablement solutions/vendors
MachNation distinguishes between two types of IoT application enablement solutions and vendors.
IoT Application Enablement Platform (AEP)
AEP vendors (we quote) have a technology-centric offering with the goal to deliver a best-of-breed, industry-agnostic, extensive middleware core for building a set of interconnected or independent IoT solutions for customers, MachNation says. AEP vendors rely on a flexible deployment model; a comprehensive set of device and enterprise backend connector SDKs and APIs; and a set of well-documented developer resources.
Platform-Enabled Solution (PES)
A PES is not technology-centric but solution-centric. It is optimized to reduce the time to deliver a fully-enabled, end-to-end, vertical IoT solution to customers, MachNation writes.
— Lie Heng (@lieheng_id) 12 september 2016
The interest in open source IoT platform technologies is growing
Another interesting finding is that service providers and enterprises become more interested in open-source IoT AEP technologies.
The company included two players from the open-source AEP space in its benchmark.
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