KEY POINTS

  • IoT platforms are the glue that holds the vast and growing network of connected devices together. BI Intelligence defines an IoT platform as the soft technology that enables businesses, governments, and consumers to connect, manage, analyze, control, and/or automate their IoT devices. 
  • The IoT platform market is poised to grow from $100 billion in 2015 to $315 billion in 2021, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21%. This will be driven in large part by platforms released by industrial companies, which are raking in billions from IoT applications. For example, GE, which runs Predix, generated $5 billion from its analytical applications and software business in 2015, and the unit is growing 20% annually.
  • The market for IoT platforms is largely tied to the increased usage of IoT solutions. BI Intelligence's Internet of Things 2017 Report forecasts that 22.5 billion IoT devices will be deployed by 2021, with nearly $5 trillion in total spending. These devices will require platforms to grow to accommodate new IoT projects and expand existing ones.
  • The three broad categories of IoT platforms include building block open platforms, closed high-end platforms, and product management platforms. These platforms are targeted at different customers ranging from developers to businesses and cities. They serve varied purposes, and there is little competition between platforms.
  • Each platform is meant to help the end user achieve one of five stages of the IoT evolution, which include connecting devices, managing devices, analyzing device data, creating interoperability between devices, and automating devices. An exclusive BI Intelligence survey found that while companies are analyzing their data, very few can automate portions of their workflow or have enabled devices to communicate with each other.
  • The top trend in the IoT platform market is consolidation. Platform providers are increasingly trying to provide a near full-stack solution to fulfill all five stages of the IoT's potential. As a result, larger companies are snatching up smaller ones that may specialize in a single part of the technology stack, such as messaging or analytics. 

Introduction

It’s nearly impossible to discuss the Internet of Things (IoT) without talking about the platforms that act as the glue holding the vast and growing network of connected devices together. They allow users to monitor their devices, to store and analyze their data, and to control what those devices do. And though these devices usually grab the headlines [...]