According to a new research report from the M2M/IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, the global third party Internet of Things (IoT) platform market increased 36 percent to 610 million in 2015. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.8 percent, revenues are forecasted to reach 3.05 billion in 2021.
There is a wide range of software platforms available, intended to reduce cost and development time for IoT solutions by offering standardized components that can be shared across many industry verticals to integrate devices, networks and applications. Most IoT platforms available on the market today can be categorized as being a connectivity management platform, a device management platform or an application enablement platform, although there are many products that offer overlapping functionality or other unique features.
Many enterprises and organisations have already been involved in various machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments that have typically been characterized by customized solutions deployed within single industry verticals, or by one company, to improve existing business operations. IoT puts more emphasis on integration of sensors, devices and information systems across industry verticals and organisations to transform operations and enable new business models.
“IoT furthermore aims to facilitate a better understanding of complex systems through analytics based on data from diverse sources to assist decision making, improve products and enable entirely new services,” said Andr Malm, senior analyst, Berg Insight.
Whereas connectivity and device management platforms have already reached comparatively high adoption, the market for application enablement platforms (AEPs) is in an earlier phase. AEPs typically provide functionality such as data collection, data storage and analytics. Fully featured platforms also provide tools, frameworks and APIs for creating business applications featuring data management, event processing, automated tasks and data visualization. Many platforms also provide tools and ready-made libraries and UI frameworks that facilitate modelling and creation of interactive applications, workspaces and dashboards with little or no need for coding.
“The AEP segment is seeing considerable activity in terms of acquisitions and new market entrants,” said Malm. “After PTC acquired ThingWorx and Axeda, other major software and IT companies have followed. Examples include Amazon that acquired 2lemetry, Autodesk that acquired SeeControl and Microsoft that acquired Solair. Other leading IT companies that are extending their service offerings to include IoT platforms often focusing on analytics and machine learning include IBM, SAP and Oracle. As a group, AEP vendors primarily face competition from system integrators and companies that develop similar functionality in-house.”