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Integration, not features, key IoT platform success factor

William Payne
January 27th 2016
 

A new report from research firm Machina Research argues that it is integration with the wider IoT ecosystem, rather than range of features, which determines success for IoT platforms.

The report, ‘IoT Platforms Best Practices’, contends that there is no one true “end-to-end” IoT platform. Rather, there are different types of platforms in a continuum that comprises connectivity, device management, applications enablement, and enterprise solutions such as analytics and services. These can be offered as stand-alone or modular solutions.

The other key finding is that it is not feature-sets and functionality of the platform that offer the key differentiator. IoT platforms offer a plethora of features that, as the market matures, become almost indistinguishable from each other.

As these features become hygiene factors, environmental factors outside of the platform feature set are the key business differentiators. There is room for a company to set itself apart, for a time, on advanced features, which are addressed in this report.

Increasingly though, vendors will look to differentiate themselves with extrinsic factors that are detailed in this report, such as organizational strength and support, robust partner, systems integration, and developer ecosystems, and focus on the customer.

The report’s author, Isabel Chapman, observes: “there is a danger that in the increasingly crowded and maturing IoT platforms space, the features bake-off will become a burnt offering, not quite palatable for a diverse set of buyers who actually have a common focus: business value.” This requisite shift in approach from platform vendors is mirrored in the report, as highlighted by Chapman: “The report identifies how those companies that we identify as having best practice are focusing less on what the product does, and more on what the company can offer to the customer.”