Getting into the digital business transformation game through Internet of Things takes courage, commitment and serious technology. With the latter, companies will need to decide on a software platform for launching IoT initiatives today and in the future. It's a critical choice.
An IoT software platform is the centerpiece for connecting and managing smart devices. It's the infrastructure for integrating operational data and control into business and customer processes, says research firm Forrester.
Thankfully, tech giants with proven track records such as IBM, Microsoft, SAP, PTC and Cisco, as well as industry stalwart General Electric, have brought strong solutions to market. Forrester analyzed these and other popular IoT software platform providers to make the decision process for tech and business executives a little easier.
"As businesses pursue digital initiatives, [infrastructure and operations] execs must assist their line-of-business colleagues with addressing software, security, data and business analytics integration complexity associated with deploying these IoT solutions," say Forrester analysts Michele Pelino and Andrew Hewitt in a research brief.
Forrester used 25 criteria to grade nearly a dozen IoT software platform vendors. The criteria spanned the product's functional capabilities for connecting, managing, securing and analyzing; the company's strategic plans for product enhancements, geographic reach and partner ecosystem; and market presence in the areas of customer installation, client distribution and dedicated employee resources.
So who led the pack? IBM, PTC, GE and Microsoft earned top marks.
Last year, IBM poured $3 billion into a new IoT business unit, which now has more than 1,000 researchers, developers and designers working on the Watson IoT platform.