May 15, 2014

IoT Platform Trends

Earlier this year, I was invited to give a presentation on strategic trends in M2M and IoT platforms. The group I was briefing was particularly interested in the rise to prominence of horizontal platforms that enable the delivery of M2M and IoT applications.

This development coincides with the market evolving from M2M towards IoT, and is accompanied by a reduced emphasis on vertical-specific application opportunities. One of the key issues to arise is an analogy with the ‘maker’ culture in the IoT arena. Loosely defined, the ‘maker’ term applies to pioneering individuals who have literally been making connected devices using readily available, and often low-cost, technology components.

An important characteristic of the IoT applications is one of much greater access to data (in terms of quantity and frequency) from connected devices and sensors. This is giving rise to a ‘self-service’ culture where individuals are able to create innovative applications from disparate, inexpensive and easily accessible data sources. In a sense, the market is primed for a new class of user - the data 'takers'.

This is where a potentially disruptive class of horizontal platforms comes into play because they simplify the economics and ease-of-use in creating IoT applications.