Different rankings of different IIoT platforms
There is competition between some of the leading international industrial and technology groups and billions of dollars are being spent on research, development and implementation of the IIoT. Just to name a few:
– GE a prediction;
– Siemens, Mindsphere ;
– Schneider Electric, EcoStruxure ;
– atos, Codec ;
– PTC, ThingWorx;
– ABB, ABB capacity; AND
– Microsoft, Azure.
Several rankings of different IIoT platforms have been developed in the last year, for example market research and strategy consulting firm Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC) developed the PAC RADAR of IoT Platforms in Europe and Gartner developed the Magic Quadrant for IIoT platforms.
Although these rankings compare different platforms, they are somewhat like comparing apples and oranges. Some platforms are company or product specific and cover the full spectrum of platform needs, from hardware to cloud hosting to software. Others only focus on a specific industry and its applications. The DZone article describes it well. ABB Ability, for example, appears to be specifically focused on ABB solutions. Siemens’ Mindsphere has announced that it supports AWS and can run on MS Azure and the SAP Cloud Platform, and appears to be quite open to developers as well. Schneider Electric offers a number of applications through its EcoStruxure IoT platform, but they are specific to energy, construction, etc. They also appear to be based on the Microsoft Azure IoT suite.
As the development of IIoT platforms continues, there seem to be identifiable drivers for future action. One of the most obvious is the cost. Although GE has announced the need to reduce its investments and Predix has encountered technical issues and delays, it is clear that the scope of deploying a complete IIoT solution is enormous and challenging. In his 2017 review, Bain said he believes that partnerships will be essential in a future where industry leaders partner with industry leaders or specialist analyst firms to deliver tailored solutions across industries, be it automotive IoT or infrastructure management.
It is also clear that the great diversity of different industrial and B2B companies will pose major challenges for standardization, although there are signs that MS Azure, for example, is becoming the leading IoT platform on which other companies build their individual needs . However, as with all IT platforms and options, sweeping changes will be problematic and often costly once organizations have made critical investment decisions.
Growth in the B2B and IIoT space will continue into next year, with more money and effort going into this space than into consumer-centric solutions. How companies balance the requirements of specificity, localization, responsiveness, security and cost will remain one of the challenges facing all companies working in this space, and soon if they manage to outpace the competition.