IoT platforms in 2018 to specialize and consolidate, says Forrester
IoT platforms specialize consolidate

IoT platforms in 2018 to specialize and consolidate, says Forrester

In 2018, IoT platforms will undergo changes that prospective buyers need to be aware of now, according to Forrester Research.

What does 2018 look like, when it comes to IoT platforms? And where should end-user companies be placing their bets? Forrester Research has some answers to these questions in a new report, Predictions 2018: IoT Moves From Experimentation To Business Scale.

For a start, say Forrester’s analysts, IoT platform offerings will begin to specialize in specific ‘design and operate’ scenarios. In other words, developers will increasingly choose IoT platforms that are built with their own industries and use-cases in mind.

“Product designers building IoT into product and experiences need capabilities for remote product management, monitoring and control,” they explain. Likewise, IoT business operators “need orchestration software that integrates their diverse set of IoT-enabled business assets into cohesive business processes”, so that they can focus on running the business, not manually managing IoT ‘bits’.

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The drive to the edge

At the same time, a developer ‘drive to the edge’ is going to precipitate IoT platform consolidation, they add. Basically, this suggests that as more companies push processing and analysis of IoT data to the edge of the network, close to or on the devices that generate that data, it will become increasingly unacceptable for an IoT platform to offer services that run only at the core of the network.

That makes sense. After all, companies are increasingly realizing that edge computing provides an answer to the tricky problems of data ingestion costs and pesky network latency issues.

But, says Forrester, the expense of supporting both edge and core in a single platform “will pressure all but the most committed of IoT platform providers to reduce their ambitious or exit the market over the next three years.”

In other words: buyer beware. When shopping around for an IoT platform, IT decision makers are going to want to be very sure that a prospective provider has a rock-solid strategy for edge computing and, preferably, an existing track record that shows it is already moving in that direction.

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Integration considerations

Finally, there’s integration to consider. According to Forrester, developers will increasingly pursue device integration via public cloud IoT platform services in order to tie all those IoT ‘bits’ together.

“Developer requirements for low adoption costs, quick deployment for prototyping, global reach, easy integration with systems of record and engagement and a minimal maintenance burden will translate to accelerated IoT platform adoption from public cloud providers.”

There is, of course, a great deal to consider here – and, as always, supplier selection, contract negotiation and ongoing vendor management will test end-user companies to their limit.

There’s only one week to go now until our IoT Build event, taking place in London on 14 & 15 November 2017. This promises to be a great opportunity for attendees to explore the platforms, architectures, applications and connectivity that comprise the IoT ecosystem. Incidentally, IoT Build will also be coming to San Francisco on 27 & 28 March 2018.