The global third party Internet of Things (IoT) platform market increased by 36 percent to € 610 million in 2015, according to the latest worldwide market study by Berg Insight. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.8 percent, revenues are now forecast to reach € 3.05 billion in 2021.
There's a wide range of software platforms available. They're intended to reduce cost and development time for IoT solutions, with standardized components that are shared across many verticals to integrate devices, networks and applications.
Most of these IoT solutions can be categorized as being a connectivity management platform, a device management platform or an application enablement platform. Although, there are many IoT-related products that offer overlapping functionality.
IoT Application Market Development
Many organizations have already been involved in various machine-to-machine (M2M) deployments that have been characterized by custom solutions deployed within single verticals -- or by one company -- to improve existing operations.
IoT deployments typically put more emphasis on the integration of sensors, devices and information systems across industry verticals and organizations to transform operations and enable new business models.
"IoT furthermore aims to facilitate a better understanding of complex systems through analytics based on data from diverse sources to assist decision making, improve products and enable entirely new services," said André Malm, senior analyst at Berg Insight.
Whereas connectivity and device management platforms have already reached comparatively high adoption, the market for application enablement platforms (AEPs) is in the early-adopter phase. AEPs typically provide functionality such as data collection, data storage and analytics.
According to the Berg Insight assessment, fully featured platforms also provide tools, frameworks and APIs for creating business applications featuring data management, event processing, automated tasks and data visualization.
More IoT Tools for Developers
Many platforms also provide tools and ready-made libraries and UI frameworks that facilitate modelling and creation of interactive applications, work spaces and dashboards with little or no need for software coding. The AEP segment is seeing considerable activity, in terms of vendor acquisitions and new market entrants.
After PTC acquired ThingWorx and Axeda, other major software and IT companies have followed. Examples include Amazon that acquired 2lemetry, Autodesk that acquired SeeControl, and Microsoft that acquired Solair.
Other leading IT companies that are extending their service offerings to include IoT platforms -- often focusing on analytics and machine learning capabilities -- include IBM, SAP and Oracle.
"As a group, AEP vendors primarily face competition from system integrators and companies that develop similar functionality in-house," concluded Mr. Malm.