By 2020, IoT technology will be infused into 95% of new electronics product designs according to Gartner. As IoT becomes more and more immersed in our daily lives, the technology will catapult from being the “next new thing” to being one of the global digital economy’s biggest disrupters.
Macro trends like IoT are not just driven by a single company or invention, it takes digital ecosystems made up of multiple companies and technologies to mold, manage and monetize a mega-digital platform such as IoT. The relationship between IoT ecosystems and platform companies as being extremely symbiotic, where the collective results are beneficial to all participants, creating new opportunities. The IoT ecosystem is already making its indelible mark as the massive amounts of data associated with connected devices (projected to be 13.7 billion by 2021) spawns greater demands for other digital platforms such as 5G high-speed mobile networks and real-time data management and analytics in the cloud.
The value of the IoT ecosystem
An IoT ecosystem is a network of organizations that drives the creation and delivery of IoT products and services. As IoT systems become more sophisticated and specialized, the interdependencies between IoT ecosystem players are becoming increasingly vital and more complex.
There are many benefits to participating in a strong IoT ecosystem:
- Collaboration allows a company to use the strengths and resources of its partners to differentiate itself from its competitors. For example, by selling into new verticals that could not otherwise be accessed.
- Gaps in a company’s product portfolio can be filled with third-party offerings, increasing its agility to bring IoT systems to market more quickly, offset risk and reduce the upfront Capex by spreading the investment across multiple industry players.
- Partnerships often increase market reach and adoption speed because each partner brings a different set of customer relationships to the table. Building the right partnerships also frees up time and resources that can be put toward IoT innovation and value creation.
Oftentimes, enterprises are looking for a complete end-to-end IoT system that requires the participation and integration of technologies and/or services from multiple industry players. Many large IoT deployments can involve interactions between more than a dozen players across a single or even multiple ecosystems to reduce IT overhead to roll out new IoT systems. When these partner ecosystems are forged strategically, it makes it dramatically easier for an organization to deploy and manage complete IoT systems for a greater competitive advantage.
Interconnection powers the IoT ecosystem
Enterprises need to be able to facilitate close physical and virtual interactions among many different types of partners to fully monetize the value of an IoT platform and its associated products and services. Today these partners typically include a mix of:
- Network service providers for establishing high-speed, low-latency networks to other partners within the IoT ecosystem;
- Multiple cloud and SaaS providers to increase scale, access compute, storage and application resources and use other technologies (e.g., real-time analytics, artificial intelligence/machine learning); and
- IoT ecosystem partners to enable IoT platforms, which include hyperscale cloud, system and software providers such as AWS, Bosch, C3 IoT, Cisco, GE Digital, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Siemens, to interconnect ecosystems.
Using private interconnection on a vendor-neutral colocation platform at the digital edge, where IoT data traffic is created and exchanged, allows enterprises to gain direct and secure interconnection to digital ecosystems and IoT platforms to build systems that enhance their products and services for their customers.
Benefits of this strategy include:
- Accelerating time to value and market expansion: Provisioning dedicated high-speed, low-latency interconnectivity at the digital edge, close to IoT ecosystem partners and customers, accelerates collaboration, innovation and time to market. Interconnection also enables businesses to quickly gain a foothold in global markets that go beyond their reach for greater expansion and revenue growth.
- Using unlimited complementary resources: Deploying interconnected hybrid/multi-cloud infrastructures at the digital edge creates a foundation for quickly accessing a scalable pool of IoT resources from different vendors and provides the flexibility to switch to new systems as the market evolves.
- Increasing IoT security: Greater IoT security and compliance measures can be applied locally with the guardrails that direct and secure interconnection among partners provides, enabling control and visibility over all activities within the ecosystem.
IoT ecosystem magic riding high
Iguazio is an innovative company that helps its customers digitally transform by more effectively analyzing data from a variety of big data and IoT sources, using a choice of multiple cloud platforms, to create actionable insights using artificial intelligence. Iguazio developed a hybrid cloud system for its continuous data platform (CDP) via direct and secure, private interconnection to develop its IoT ecosystem and successfully provided end-to-end IoT, hybrid-cloud, data analytics to two of its customers in the exploding ride-hailing industry in South East Asia — Grab and PickMe.
Grab used the Iguazio system to gain increased performance, security, availability and ease of use when processing its large data sets from multiple sources and cloud-native applications on AWS. The company was ultimately able to deploy heat maps that predicted where to send drivers before they were needed, reducing the time it took to match drivers with riders in high-traffic periods from minutes to milliseconds.
The Iguazio hybrid cloud system allowed PickMe to use CDP data analytics, IoT, AI and the cloud to gain intelligent insights, showing spikes in demand and flagging suspicious behaviors which detect fraud in real time rather than after periodic updates. By improving usage models and better predicting where drivers should be placed, PickMe enhanced both its service levels and profitability by matchmaking more rides and ensuring drivers had less “empty time” in their days.
Interconnected IoT ecosystems are essential to creating the magic required for digital businesses to thrive. Eventually, these ecosystems will be so pervasive that the internet of things will simply be the internet of life.
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