Thursday, December 11, 2014

IoT Ecosystem Game

Internet of Things is changing the world. Not by what we do, but how we do things. This affects individuals, organizations and business ecosystems.

Until now, we have seen ecosystems dominated by a single companies. Let's take Apple as an example. In specific consumer product segments, Apple has ruled the whole value chain from hardware via software to markets and distribution channel. With the model Apple has succeeded to collect 80% of profits of smart phone industry, with only 18% market share.

IoT however is way too diverse for any single company to dominate. Applications vary from hen houses to connected cars, from thermostats to medical instruments. Just like technical architectures are changed from M2M verticals to horizontal layers of IoT, are businesses forced to co-operate with partners and competitors.

M2M vs IOT architecture.
Connected devices is nothing new, M2M has existed from 10 to 20 years already. However, M2M  tends to be like vertical silos, application specific end-to-end solution with limited expandability. IoT as opposite is more like Internet architecture in general, horizontal layers without predefined purpose for any specific function.

Changes in connectivity architectures reflects to ecosystems. A healthy IoT ecosystem has different players for different horizontal players, and preferably many of them. A good example of IoT ecosystem is build around ARM and IBM. ARM provides technology for Things and  IBM for Internet, making it Internet of Things.

ARM embed and IBM cloud offering are really a winning combo. ARM has the strongest ecosystem of silicon vendors. IBM with it's new cloud offering and partnership with Apple, ARM, Semtech, and many more has really gained reputation. This heterogeneous and loosely linked ecosystem has no single point of failure.

There is no ring to rule them all, and there is always room for new trials. That's the only way how the technology can go further in large scale, the law of natural selection applies in technolofy as well.

Just recently Intel announced a new IoT platform, partnering with Accenture, Capgemini, HCL, NTT Data, Tata Consultancy and Wipro. Basically, that's a single silicon vendor with bunch of consultants. Doesn't sounds like a healthy ecosystem. I expressed my thoughts  about the Intel Edison/Quark technology already a year ago. The technology is the basis of this new alliance, which really doesn't convince me.

No comments:

Post a Comment