KEY POINTS

  • Major legacy tech companies that were slow to seize on the mobile revolution have a new opportunity with the next major evolutionary phase in internet-connected devices: the Internet of Things. The IoT will have more than double as many devices installed as the PC, tablet, and smartphone market combined by 2019, creating a massive market for IoT-related services, equipment, and software. 
  • Established, enterprise-oriented tech, telecommunications, and tech-consulting players — think Intel, Cisco, IBM, AT&T, or Accenture — have clear advantages when it comes to the IoT market.
    • To begin with, they have longstanding sales relationships with businesses and governments, which will be the biggest adopters of IoT software, services, and devices.
    • These companies' product portfolios align with what business clients need to create the backbone of IoT systems. The building blocks of the IoT will be networking equipment, routers, specialized chipsets and sensors, machine-to-machine communications, cloud-computing platforms, and database and data-analytics packages. 
    • Legacy tech players have the resources needed to provide hands-on installation services and customer support to large businesses. The IoT will primarily be a software and services market. Supporting the installation and launch of new tech systems across globe- or nation-spanning entities on a large scale is the core expertise of brand-name legacy tech giants. 
    • Security is a central concern, and large businesses and governments are more likely to trust their data with large vendors they've worked with before over untested startups, with piecemeal solutions. There is considerable potential for a wide-scale hack with so many interlinked devices and systems.
  • Several notable legacy tech players have already been very aggressive in their marketing of IoT-related products. We offer some examples of their strategies, innovations, and product lineups, and how they relate to existing business lines. 

The IoT Represents A Major New Enterprise Device Market

PCshipmentsGrowthBIIMany legacy tech companies that revolutionized tech in the PC-oriented world of the 1980s and 1990s, famously missed out on the mobile-device market. Today, as the PC market stalls, many of these household-name companies are seeing that translate to sagging or shrinking toplines and faded relevance. 

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