Market forecasts from ABI Research show that the revenues from the Internet of Things (IoT) application enablement platform (AEP) grew by 28 per cent in 2014. By end-2020, the revenue base will exceed US$1.4 billion, led by applications for remote monitoring and control.
“Amid all the market noise surrounding IoT platforms, it is wise to remember that the AEP layer of this business isn’t anywhere close to the billion-dollar level yet,” says principal analyst Aapo Markkanen. “A growing number of companies are developing and deploying IoT applications, but much of the technology stack comes from internal teams and system integrators. Third-party platforms have a high upside, but today the reality is that the vast majority of enterprises have yet to either fully commit to an IoT strategy or determine the best way to execute one.”
In the AEP market, 2014 was marked by the emergence of PTC as a somewhat unexpected IoT champion, following its acquisitions of Thingworx and Axeda. Another interesting development was LogMeIn repositioning its Xively platform from a pronouncedly horizontal “AWS for IoT” to a more traditionally inclined solutions provider. Meanwhile, one of the original AEP pioneers, ILS Technology, was integrated into its new owner, Telit. Currently, the most pressing strategic topic is GE’s announcement to open up its Predix platform to the products of other manufacturers.
Practice director Dan Shey concludes, “It’s still unclear how well GE can enable OEM-agnostic applications, but if it sees reasonable success, then Predix could catch many major players off guard in 2015. At the same time, there are also a number of smaller platforms that have previously been focusing on getting their technology right, but seem now ready to enter the growth stage. Likes of M2Mi, PLAT.ONE, SeeControl, and 2lemetry could make some waves over the next year.”