New study from Machina Research finds that it is integration with the wider IoT ecosystem, rather than range of features, which will determine success for IoT platforms

IoT report

Machina Research today published its latest Strategy Report ‘IoT Platforms Best Practices’ which compares and contrasts the strategies adopted by 20 of the most important software platform vendors active in IoT, examining feature sets and company ecosystem positioning, and determining best practice.

The ‘IoT platform’ space is a famously crowded and fragmented. Over the last few years Machina Research, the world’s leading provider of strategic market intelligence on the Internet of Things, has been tracking and analyzing the space. This latest report ‘IoT Platforms Best Practices’ builds on our existing taxonomy of platforms, which provides a framework within which to analyze efforts in this space.

Based on our analysis of the market, it has become clear that there is no one true “end-to-end” IoT platform. Rather, there are different types of platforms in a continuum that comprises connectivity, device management, applications enablement, and enterprise solutions such as analytics and services. These can be offered as stand-alone or modular solutions.

The other key finding is that it is not feature-sets and functionality of the platform that offer the key differentiator. IoT platforms offer a plethora of features that, as the market matures, become almost indistinguishable from each other. As these features become hygiene factors, environmental factors outside of the platform feature set are the key business differentiators. There is room for a company to set itself apart, for a time, on advanced features, which are addressed in this report. Increasingly though, vendors will look to differentiate themselves with extrinsic factors that are detailed in this report, such as organizational strength and support, robust partner, SI, and developer ecosystems, and focus on the customer.

The report’s author, Isabel Chapman, observes:

“there is a danger that in the increasingly crowded and maturing IoT platforms space, the features bake-off will become a burnt offering, not quite palatable for a diverse set of buyers who actually have a common focus: business value.”

This requisite shift in approach from platform vendors is mirrored in the report, as highlighted by Chapman:
“The report identifies how those companies that we identify as having best practice are focusing less on what the product does, and more on what the company can offer to the customer.”

The report includes detailed profiles of 20 vendors in the IoT platforms space, most of whom were interviewed for inclusion. Companies varied greatly by size, geography, and IoT platform types. The 20 companies profiled are as follows: Actility, Aeris, AWS, Bosch Software Innovations, Cumulocity, Digi, Ericsson, GE, HPE, IBM, Jasper, Microsoft, Nokia (including Alcatel-Lucent), Oracle, PLAT.ONE, Sierra Wireless, Stream Technologies, ThingWorx by PTC, Wind River, and Xively by LogMeIn.
This report is published as part of Machina Research’s IoT Strategies Research Stream. More details of the report can be found HERE.

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