Enterprises that are looking to address the challenges of building end-to-end Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are increasingly turning to System Integrators (SIs) as partners to take on leading, client-facing roles to implement these solutions.
ABI Research forecasts that IoT system integration and consulting revenues will grow past US$35.7 billion in 2022 from just under US$17 billion in 2017 at a CAGR of 16.1%.
Integrating the Internet of Things
In early 2017, ABI Research issued an online survey focused on the attitudes, intentions, and deployments of transformative technologies to 455 decision makers, influencers, and implementers. A total of 35% of respondents had adopted IoT technology, and 26% of respondents were planning to deploy solutions within the next 12 months. By the end of 2017, 61% of respondents will have an operational IoT solution. A total of 21% of respondents were assessing solutions, and 12% were in the early investigative stage. Only 6% of respondents had no plans to deploy an IoT solution
These survey results are significant because despite the challenges and inhibitors that impede the development process, enterprises are continuing to adopt IoT solutions largely due to providers who have worked to ease the process of developing these solutions. Over the past several years, providers have established partner programs, ecosystems, and IoT marketplaces to help ease the burden and simplify the process for enterprises looking to adopt these solutions. IoT solutions offer enterprises the opportunity to gain competitive advantages by improving internal processes and also by enhancing new and existing product lines, and enterprises look toward service providers to help guide them through the process. IoT has caused many providers across all segments of the IoT value chain to shift and adapt their strategies.
System integrators are uniquely positioned to address the challenges that IoT poses due to their ability to leverage their experience integrating legacy systems into end-to-end solutions, their knowledge of the IoT landscape and players in the market, and their existing relationships with enterprises and end-users.
“The core responsibility of a system integrator is to fill the gap between solution providers and targeted market verticals,” says Ryan Harbison, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “As such, SIs have a deep knowledge not only of enterprise pain points and issues, but also of specific applications and the business as a whole.”
SIs are becoming essential partners in many IoT partner program ecosystems due to their expertise in integrating IoT solutions across specific vertical markets and regions. SIs range from global system integrators (GSIs) and consultancies like Accenture, Deloitte, and PricewaterhouseCoopers to IT service system integrators like IBM and HP. GSIs like Accenture have stayed ahead of the curve in IoT primarily by addressing client demand for connected solutions and by understanding the value behind enterprise digital transformation and technology convergence. Technology services providers such as Altimetrik and Leverege have delivered value to their clients by offering extensive knowledge and expertise within particular vertical market segments.
“End-users are less concerned with the features of a various device or software platform and are more concerned with how their IoT solutions work as a whole to truly become a system of systems,” concludes Harbison.
“Enterprises looking to develop IoT solutions may not contact hardware or software vendors and instead rely on the advice of a SI to navigate the marketplace to find solution components that deliver a full solution. Moving forward, it’s crucial for software and hardware providers to develop deep relationships with a range of SIs that provide vertical-specific solutions to end-users.”