A confluence of technological and market forces is coming together to exponentially expand the past promise of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities into a wider array of Internet of Things (IoT) market opportunities. These new possibilities are also attracting a broader population of players.
Cisco Systems’ promotion of the Internet of Everything, GE’s focus on the Industrial Internet and Salesforce.com’s evangelistic efforts surrounding the Internet of the Customer are the most prominent examples of major companies seeking to capitalize on the IoT idea.
Cisco and GE have been joined by AT&T, IBM and Intel to create a new Industrial Internet Consortium under the Object Management Group. They’ve come together to promote industry standards and encourage the market to mature. While gaining the attention of the major players gives the IoT greater credibility, spreading the idea across a broader set of players is essential to make it work.
Many of the companies that have been producing the sensors and connectors that have been at the heart of the M2M world for years are excited about their niche market becoming more mainstream. But, they must now contend with a myriad of new companies claiming a piece of the business they’ve spent years cultivating.
For instance, the software billing companies have been quick to jump on the IoT bandwagon as it becomes clearer that monetizing the growing number of connections is becoming an important challenge. Aria Systems, MetraTech and Zuora are among the growing number of software billing companies entering the IoT market.
Security and privacy concerns are also encouraging a variety of companies to also target the IoT opportunity. Ping Identity and other identity management solution providers are offering single sign-on (SSO) and other security capabilities to control access to IoT networks and endpoints and safeguard the data being generated.
The IoT idea is gaining attention because of its unprecedented capabilities to more economically capture, store, collate, analyze, share and act on the data being generated from increasingly powerful and cost-effective sensors embedded into almost anything. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that many established companies like SAP and Oracle, and emerging players like Pivotal and Infobright are positioning their business intelligence (BI) and analytics capabilities as IoT solutions.
Pulling together all these pieces has become an attractive opportunity for data integration solution providers and API providers like MuleSoft and SnapLogic. Systems integrators, management consulting and other IT professional services companies are also finding plenty of new IoT market opportunities.
The bottom line is that the boundless possibilities created by the IoT idea are bringing a broader cross-section of players to the IoT marketplace. Their challenge will be clearly identifying the role they play in this rapidly evolving environment.
Even more importantly, they must demonstrate to corporate decision makers that they can help them capitalize on the latest technology innovations to achieve their business objectives and create new market opportunities.
Jeff Kaplan is the managing director of THINKstrategies, founder of the Cloud Computing Showplace and host of the Connected Cloud Summit focused on the IoT market on September 18 in Boston, MA. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.