IoT deal-winners should beware of moving goalposts: study

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Five year ago the Internet of Things didn’t really exist as a mass market phenomenon. To be sure, the concept has been around since the 80s and the term IoT has been with us since 1999. And along the way there have been “things” that you could connect to the internet besides PCs, laptops and phones (smart TVs, webcams, vending machines, etc). But until recently, the IoT was more futuristic hype than a mass-market reality.

That’s changed, and fast, as the below infographic from Charles Reed Anderson & Associates (CRA) demonstrates – IoT has gone from futuristic novelty to a full-blown commercial ecosystem of vendors and service providers developing solutions.

The infographic looks at 374 current IoT projects and 843 planned projects with the objective of determining which vendors are either leading the charge or at least successfully cashing in on it. To that end, CRA asked over 1,200 IoT decision makers which vendor comes to mind when they consider solutions. A whopping 125 different names came up, which confirms CRA’s previous assessments that the IoT ecosystem remains a highly fragmented one.

That said, there are some clear trends emerging, starting with the types of primary vendors companies are engaging with (bearing in mind that they do talk to more than one type, as no company does everything). Existing projects tend to prefer analytics vendors, but that is expected to shift in favor of hardware vendors for upcoming projects. Point being, the leaders of IoT today may not be the leaders in a couple of years.

Another point to bear in mind: decision criteria may also shift. Today, project leaders favor technical expertise and brand reputation, but that could well change as solutions also evolve and become more complex – put another way, companies shopping for IoT solutions may soon be less interested in a given vendor’s abilities and more interested in its partner ecosystem, say.

Meanwhile, as for which vendors are on top of the game, it’s pretty much who you’d expect. But not forever, and perhaps not for long – the way the Internet of Things appears to be evolving, there’s a chance that systems integrators may be the true kings of IoT in the long run.

IoT winners

This infographic was originally published at CRA & Associates

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