What Makes An Internet Of Things (IoT) Platform Enterprise-Ready?

Answering the question of what makes an IoT platform scalable enough to excel in an enterprise needs to take into account application enablement, connectivity management and data aggregation and storage. These and other insights are from a recent article by the Boston Consulting GroupWho Will Win The IoT Platform Wars? The report provides a useful framework for evaluating the enterprise readiness of the proliferating number of  IoT platforms available today.

The following key takeaways offer a glimpse into the IoT platform landscape and how enterprises can determine if IoT platforms of interest will be able to scale to their needs:

  • Enterprise software & services (22%) and IoT start-ups (32%) offer the largest amount of IoT platforms today. 18% of IoT platforms are being developed and sold by industrial technology providers who are looking to shift away from their hardware-centric business models. Superior design, extensibility, intuitive user experience and incentives for developers to support their IoT platforms are what’s need to excel in the enterprise. BCG found that 65% of enterprise buyers have a strong preference for purchasing their IoT platforms from enterprise software and services providers.
  • The real test of any vendor’s IoT platform is to see if it supports application enablement, data aggregation and storage, and connectivity management. Ideally, IoT platforms orchestrate applications, data, devices, systems, and processes providing business strategists with a scalable framework they can rely on to accomplish long-term goals. In reality the majority of IoT platforms today can’t provide this level of support to business strategies. BCG found that a scalable enterprise-ready IoT platform provides application enablement, data aggregation and storage, and connectivity management. The following graphic provides an overview of core IoT platform requirements.
Image: Boston Consulting Group
  • Just 14% of IoT platforms are enterprise-ready. IoT pure-play companies/startups lead all providers of enterprise-wide IoT platforms today. Enterprise software & service providers are next at 36% of all platform providers meeting all three criterion. In the next three years, the pace of IoT pure-play companies/startup acquisitions is going to accelerate as enterprise software & service providers look to gain needed new technologies quickly.
Image: Boston Consulting Group
  • IoT platform providers who earn developer loyalty have the best chance of dominating the market for years to come. Creating an open source IoT platform supported by a vibrant, growing community that excels at knowledge sharing is the most effective strategy for attracting developers. Additional criterion developers evaluate IoT platforms on are the potential to gain platform knowledge and improve their career prospects, and availability of high-quality APIs and available tools. The following graphic provides an analysis of what developers consider the most important criterion they consider when choosing an IoT platform to develop on. Enterprise software & service providers are using a variety of incentives including free training, certification and the opportunity to earn cash bonuses for accelerating development and delivery of new applications on their platforms.
Image: Boston Consulting Group