What are IoT Platforms?

Internet of Things (IoT) can be defined as devices that are connected via the internet using sensors, actuators, and network communication technologies to interconnect people and machines. An IoT platform helps store, process, and analyze data collected from IoT objects/devices. The best IoT platforms is the backbone of an IoT architecture that enables communication between devices and things.

The best IoT Platforms combines the capabilities of IoT-enabled devices and the computing technology; the combined capabilities of both technologies are delivered as-a-service over an end-to-end platform. IoT platforms have multiple sensors connected to, typically via gateways. The platform’s major features include the management and security of widely installed connected devices, network connectivity management, application enablement, -supported data collection, data analysis, and real-time business insights.

Top 10 IoT Platforms Vendors in 2020

  1. AWS
  2. IBM
  3. Google
  4. SAP
  5. PTC
  6. Apache
  7. Azure
  8. Axonize
  9. Blynk
  10. Ayla

COMPETITIVE LEADERSHIP MAPPING TERMINOLOGY

This section describes the mapping of top 25 players in the best IoT Platforms market. These players are ranked on the basis of 2 major factors - business strategy excellence and strength of product portfolio. The detailed rating is given on the basis of product offerings and business strategies of 25 companies that belong to the ecosystem of the IoT Platforms market.

Business strategy excellence describes how players are increasing their presence in the market. The factors considered in the “business strategy excellence” section are rated on the basis of the performance of the company in the best IoT Platforms market. Factors such as geographic footprint, effectiveness of growth strategy, and technology innovation have been considered while rating the business strategy excellence section of the company.

The strength of product portfolio describes players’ approach toward launching geographic information system based product offerings and innovations. The factors in “strength of product portfolio” section are rated on the on the basis of the WMS software, hardware and services offered by each player in the best IoT Platforms market. Factors such as focus on product innovation; breadth and depth of product offering, and product feature and functionality have been considered while rating the strength of product portfolio section of the company.

VISIONARY LEADERS

Visionary leaders in the best IoT Platforms market generally receive high scores for most evaluation criteria. They have a strong service portfolio, a robust market presence, and effective business strategy. Visionary leaders are the leading market players in terms of new developments such as product launches, innovative technologies, and adoption of growth strategies. These players have a broad portfolio of products that cater to most regions worldwide. Visionary leaders primarily focus on acquiring the leading market position through their strong financial capabilities and well-established brand equity.

DYNAMIC DIFFERENTIATORS

Dynamic differentiators in the best IoT Platforms market are established vendors with very strong business strategies and a decent product portfolio. They generally focus on a specific type of technology related to the product. There are many companies in the best IoT Platforms market who largely depend on their competitive R&D. These players have established business channels and required resources, but offer less competitive products compared to visionary leaders.

INNOVATORS

Innovators in the best IoT Platforms demonstrate substantial product innovations compared to their competitors. They have a highly focused product portfolio. However, they do not have very strong growth strategies for their overall business. New players can make steady profits even if there is a high demand for innovative AI software products. These players hold a smaller share in the market but have innovative products portfolio and services in the best IoT Platforms market.

EMERGING COMPANIES

Emerging companies in the best IoT Platforms have niche service offerings and are starting to gain their positions in the market. They do not have very strong business strategies compared to other established vendors. They can be new or old entrants in the market and may require some more time before gaining significant traction in the market.

What are the various platform offerings in the best IoT Platforms market?

The best IoT Platforms plays a crucial role in handling all the IoT and cloud operations related activities; these activities include collecting data from IoT-enabled devices to the storage and analysis of collected data for real time insights. Best IoT platforms primarily drives network connectivity from physical devices such as sensors, actuators, tags, and smart cards. The IoT platform helps connect and manage all the devices in an IoT ecosystem. It provides business users with connectivity, storage, and information about customers. These platforms provide real-time analysis of the incoming data by triggering event aggregation, filtering, and correlation. The market for best IoT platforms is expanding since IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across the existing network infrastructure. Google, Microsoft, IBM, AWS, and Cisco Systems are some of the best IoT platform providers.

With the advent of upcoming technologies and improvements in sensors, communication solutions, better connectivity, and the invention of new devices, opportunities to improve operations and offer personalized experiences increased. IoT, in general, builds a bridge between the physical and digital worlds. Best IoT platforms are classified into device management, application enablement, and connectivity management. IoT platforms vendors provide the device management platform, which offers security to ensure that each device is protected from vulnerabilities. It enables the tracking of performance, security, and the overall state of each connected device. IoT platforms deliver huge amounts of data to connected devices and communication networks by deploying many sensors, such as temperature, proximity, pressure, chemical, and Infrared (IR) sensors. The AEP helps the user build IoT applications more efficiently, creating platform that provide security to millions of devices. The CMP provides a combination of connectivity services that enable users to connect with their IoT devices worldwide.

Device Management

The best IoT Platforms plays a very important role in enabling users to track, monitor, and manage physical IoT devices. It provides permissions and security capabilities to ensure each device is protected from vulnerabilities. IT administrators mainly use the device management platform. A few companies may also employ an IoT cloud administrator to track the performance, security, and overall state of each connected device. IoT device management platforms are generally offered in conjunction with IoT analytics software, IoT security software, and device monitoring solutions. The device management platform provides the life cycle management functionality for connected devices, including device onboarding, deployment of software and firmware updates, and configuration of managed devices.

The declining cost of device management sensors across the globe enables companies to deploy them in even smaller internet-based solutions. The key function of these sensors in enhanced devices is to collect the surrounding information and forward it to cloud-based management systems. For instance, image sensors in the retail industry monitor customer visit in retail stores through the connected network and notify the staff to offer better customer assistance. Thus, the management platform allows real-time devices to log instant feedback on the performance of the platform to the support teams and engage the customers.

The device management platform secures the internet connection of IoT-enabled devices. This application establishes device authentication mode for security against hacking and other malware attacks. The management platform functions on application-specific settings and implements control capability into the system. These monitoring and diagnostics processes are vital to minimize the events that can affect successful business outcomes.

Connectivity Management

CMP is a service platform that provides a combination of connectivity services and management tools, enabling the user’s IoT devices to function worldwide. It allows users to connect to their IoT devices, activate or deactivate the SIM, change tariff plans, switch between different mobile network operators, and define data consumption. The platform also allows users to set up an IoT network and effectively control it in a quick and easy way on every stage of the product’s life cycle. With worldwide coverage and the SIMs’ ability to automatically switch to the network with the best signal, CMP minimizes the risk of the device being offline. The presence of comprehensive security features eliminates the risk of unauthorized access to the IoT network. The platform also helps analyze the amount of data being transferred over a network and automatically routes them to avoid congestion that can result in the network crashing. The network management platform also offers various benefits such as access to experts, routine monitoring, optimized operations, cost-effectiveness, prevention of business disruptions, increased productivity, and minimized security risks.

Best IoT Platforms CMP supports operators by managing network connectivity throughout its life cycle, thereby driving an organization’s sales operations and business expansion for revenue generation. IoT-based solutions are convenient and easy to use. The web-based management tools consist of devices that support different wireless technologies and communication protocols. These devices are mostly based on mobile connectivity with static and mobile firewall protection against cyber-attacks. Hence, they require continuous monitoring and control to ensure efficient business operations, safety of employees, and security of products. Best IoT platforms vendors offer secure connectivity for wireless applications with ancillary services and customized connectivity of IP solutions designed as per specific customer requirements. These vendors provide 24/7 service monitoring and support.

Application Enablement

AEP enables users to store data and respond to the events that can potentially harm data mining, secure transmission, and scalability. Hence, AEP enables users to easily implement IoT applications and services without exposing the network connectivity to any threats. The AEP solutions offer cloud software and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) with types of SaaS and PaaS models. AEP also enables the rapid development of RFID, which has sensor-based IoT solutions with high-performance management and application to build end-to-end supply chain visibility.

The AEP provides a clear vision for a successful IoT solution. AEPs are needed to provide IoT solutions with components, such as device management and visualization, thereby building a scalable IoT application. For making best IoT platforms market successful, AEPs provide benefits, such as the building of IoT applications more efficiently, creating solutions that securely scale to millions of devices, and leveraging the knowledge of industry experts and crucial partnerships. AEPs allow companies to gain value from IoT investments in less time because AEPs eliminate technological hurdles. They help resolve all the technical challenges related to scale and security. AEPs provide a platform that helps users build and test new use cases and applications and future-proof those applications. They provide the necessary tools to solve various IoT and cloud problems. 

What are the major services offered in the best IoT Platforms market?

Services provided in the best IoT platforms market focus on providing consumers with assistance, answering their queries, and helping them solve problems related to technical issues across IoT devices, data transfer issues, and customer experience issues. The services support the existing IT infrastructure by integrating the right cloud solution to enhance business, application, and security requirements. These services are designed specifically to help organizations achieve integration between enterprise applications, partners, and people. With the rising adoption of best IoT platforms, the demand for adequate services is on the rise. The benefits of employing services are improved systems performance and reduced operating expenses resulting from the implementation of optimal platforms.

Services in this market are further classified into professional services and managed services. Professional services are important in the management of the entire life cycle of a solution until its deployment. Managed services, on the other hand, assess the business network, monitor the health of the infrastructure, and perform remote maintenance activities. These services provide security and expert assurance, thereby helping the entire business to be more productive.

Professional Services

Professional services help the end users work on the defined software. These services help enhance efficiency and achieve the desired level of expertise to manage the infrastructure and reduce resource losses effectively. These services further include security requirements and government regulatory compliances. They help lower risks, reduce complexities, and increase the overall Return on Investment (RoI), thereby delivering maximum product assurance. The growth of the professional services segment is mainly governed by the complexity of operations and increasing deployment of best IoT platforms. The professional services segment is a growing market in the IoT cloud platform sector where users rely on technology vendors for support and maintenance purposes. As the adoption of technology-based platforms increases, the demand for these services will also surge.

The services included in the scope of the research study are training and consulting, system integration and deployment, and support and maintenance. Training and consulting services focus on technology consulting in planning and designing IoT cloud platform and training the users to utilize the platform effectively. System integration and deployment services allow experts to integrate IoT devices with the best IoT platforms and also deploy it into the existing/desired IT infrastructure. Support and maintenance services focus on seamless maintenance and transformation of business-critical applications and meet their changing demands.

Managed Services

Managed services are essential as they take care of all the core responsibilities of business and allow users to focus more on mission-critical processes. These services assess the business network, monitor the health of the infrastructure, and perform remote maintenance activities, including upgrades and integrations on a regular basis. Managed services are also very helpful in a way that they help organizations through connectivity, security, and cloud computing technology evolutions. These services provide any-time security and expert assurance, thereby enabling the entire businesses to be more productive. They offer technical skills required to maintain and update software in the IoT cloud platform ecosystem. Managed services work in such a way that vendors partner with third-party service providers to deliver the best-in-class services to their customers across the world. All the pre- and post-deployment queries and needs of customers are addressed via these services. Under managed services, certain IT operations are outsourced to a service provider who is responsible for remote maintenance of the customer’s IT infrastructure. As a result, companies rapidly outsource their tasks to MSPs. Global MSPs comprise vendors from diverse backgrounds, ranging from specialized MSPs to cloud service providers, system integrators, and VARs.

What are the various options to deploy best IoT Platforms on cloud?

The data analytics capabilities of the best IoT platforms make cloud computing a major platform for sharing resources rather than handling devices and local server application, which allows it to store and authorize applications on cloud. The deployment mode in cloud computing segregates organizations’ needs based on their size, CAPEX requirements, authority, and total operational cost needed. Based on deployment mode, the IoT platforms market is segregated into three segments: public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid.

Public Cloud

Public cloud deployment mode is an open network for public usage as cloud hosting provides an accessible cloud environment owned by a third-party cloud provider. This deployment mode is the most accepted host that allows the sharing of resources over public networks. The public cloud deployment mode offers the benefits of location independence, reliability, and flexibility. It also facilitates organizations in the most economical way by decreasing their OPEX and CAPEX and making profits by charging per user. The public cloud deployment mode and private cloud deployment mode have difference in their security levels, which varies according to the subscriber’s requirement. Public cloud deployment mode allows businesses to manage their loads by hosting applications such as SaaS-based and managing applications used by other users.

Private Cloud

Private cloud deployment mode is a cloud computing model that provides a secure environment for cloud-based host and helps businesses understand their computing needs. The private cloud deployment mode is also known as the internal cloud. Its structural design is similar to that of a public deployment model but has differences in the security levels. In the private model, only a single private cloud host is provided; the private model builds an IT department for the organization and permits or authorizes the user to control data sharing and processing.

Hybrid

Hybrid deployment mode is an on-premises cloud host, with a diverse mix of hosting infrastructure applications, including public and private cloud deployment mode computing model to help organizations control cloud application. Hybrid deployment mode provides businesses with the combination of different deployment options and better flexibility by allowing the platform to exchange workload between private deployment mode and the public deployment mode as per the need and demand of businesses.

There are some drawbacks to the easy access of public cloud deployment mode. Concerns over lack of control and privacy have led many companies to decide that going fully public is not the best route for their IT infrastructure. For companies that want to maximize the benefits of both public and private cloud deployment mode, the hybrid deployment model offers tremendous advantages to those companies. Versatile and responsive, hybrid deployment mode is fast becoming a popular solution for organizations looking to adopt hybrid deployment for their IT needs.

What are the major applications of the best IoT Platforms?

Best IoT platforms offer many opportunities to businesses by connecting devices with its cloud host. The modern business has transformed communication services, linked healthcare to IoT mobile devices, and introduced a smart retailing structure with enterprise SaaS. The best IoT platforms market shows a positive trend during the forecast period, with more companies aiming to achieve lower operation and maintenance costs. The proliferation of IoT-enabled devices generates huge volume of operational and financial data; this is the major factor driving the adoption of IoT cloud platform in various application areas. Moreover, data-driven companies have adopted a new approach named ‘edge analytics,’ in which the analysis of data is performed at the source where the data is generated. This helps enterprises maintain the usability of data. Dedicated IoT networks, coupled with improvement in bandwidth and range of coverage, will make IoT more feasible for adoption in new sectors during the forecast period.

Based on application area, the best IoT platforms market is segmented into building and home automation, smart transportation, connected healthcare, smart manufacturing, smart retail, smart grid and utilities, and others (including smart education, smart agriculture, smart hospitality, connected banking, telecom, and security and emergency). These application areas have leveraged the benefits of M2M communication for efficient and effective management and delivery of services. The main factor driving the high adoption of IoT cloud platform is the objective of meeting the real needs of customers and reducing operational cost.

Building and Home Automation

The concept of ‘IoT home automation’ is advancing with the introduction of connected devices for buildings and houses. Presently, consumers are increasingly interested in knowing how home automation can provide more convenience, savings, and security. IoT home automation promises to open up significant new revenue sources and allow businesses to connect with customers for delivering better service, more value, and greater innovation. However, managing a multitude of connected devices requires highly advanced IoT software. Vendors are providing IoT cloud platforms to manage IoT home automation devices and other connected solutions. These platforms take the complexity out of provisioning and securing IoT products, managing, and integrating the data they produce and turning that data into insight.

A smart home or building is equipped with a special connected platform that enables occupants to control and program an array of automated electronic devices remotely. Building and home automation cover a wide array of applications such as energy management, entertainment, security and safety, and lighting control. It monitors performance and device failures in all systems and provides malfunction alarms to building maintenance staff, resulting in convenience, energy efficiency, and safety benefits. Smart devices are becoming more self-governing and intelligent in how they share data with building automation systems and the cloud. The cloud provides the administrative user interface and data analytics function, and also analyzes building, weather forecast, and utility data.

Smart Transportation

Best IoT platforms in smart transportation can not only assist in improving road safety but can also help the world by easing traffic congestion and averting road accidents. The platform also enhances fleet management operations by effective fare collection and provides useful insights about commuters’ preferences and behavior. IoT cloud platform in the logistics and supply chain sector improves the efficiency and flexibility of goods delivery, thereby making logistics faster and cheaper.

IoT cloud platform facilitates integration across transportation systems. Advanced cars, buses, trains, and bicycles along with roads and/or rails are becoming more equipped with sensors, actuators, and processing power. These IoT-enabled devices enable Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication for traffic reduction and increase in overall security. The devices help collect real-time vehicle location information and data and enable the traffic controllers to analyze and improve routes based on real-time data analysis. For instance, congestion information is available to the traveling public via smart maps with real-time data updates. Through best IoT platforms, the information is also used in back offices to make strategic decisions regarding congestion management.

Connected Healthcare

Application of the best IoT platforms in the connected healthcare has widened, due to the increasing use of embedded sensors, availability of fast cellular networks, and rising adoption of wireless devices. Communication between sensors and devices enables healthcare organizations to streamline their clinical operations, manage workflows, and aid in real-time patient care, even from remote locations. Hence, healthcare organizations are focusing on implementing robust applications and connected technologies. Some of the major applications of IoT in connected healthcare area are remote patient monitoring, healthcare workflow management, medication management, and medical asset tracking. The healthcare products, solutions, and services are commercialized for driving the new era of healthcare. For instance, connected healthcare systems can enable the medical care to be administered in incredible new ways; moreover, when medicines run out, a patient’s pill box order can be placed at the pharmacy, automatically. The patient’s data, diagnostics, and monitoring can be administered remotely using various devices. These connected devices will gather data from fetal monitors, electrocardiograms, temperature monitors, or blood glucose levels to track the health information of some patients. These devices are connected to smartphones or tablets, thus allowing patient’s medical condition to be monitored from anywhere around the world.

Smart Manufacturing

Manufacturing organizations are moving toward Industry 4.0, wherein smart devices and automation would work together in an entirely new way. In Industry 4.0, robotics is connected remotely to computer systems equipped with ML and AI algorithms, which can learn and control robots with very little inputs. Industry 4.0 includes cyber-physical systems, which monitor the physical processes of factories and make decentralized decisions. The physical systems, as a part of IoT, communicate and cooperate with each other and humans in real time. IoT is at the center of factory automation and Industry 4.0, and helps organizations streamline their business processes and optimize operations. IoT cloud platforms enable communication between device and application layers.

IIoT has been at the forefront in introducing transparency, scalability, and process-defined architecture in manufacturing operations. It is crucial to develop and deploy multiple corporate subsystems that constitute IIoT. IIoT would attract significant investments for manufacturing enterprises in the coming future. Most of the IIoT systems are being interconnected through a mesh of internet-enabled endpoints. IIoT represents a unique opportunity of deploying a platform-based approach, a single flexible hardware architecture deployed across multiple heterogeneous applications. The growing awareness about IIoT is spurring the demand for best IoT platforms in the market.

Smart Retail

The retail and eCommerce industry is transforming its workflow management by adopting IoT solutions to cater to its end users, giving its customers a user-friendly and convenient experience. Additionally, best IoT platforms enable large retail chains to be connected centrally to improve order and inventory management. The increasing number of connected devices is driving the growth of the IoT cloud platform market. These devices are connected through components such as sensors, RFID tags, NFC tags, gateways, and beacons. Smart devices enable retailers to map shopping behaviors and preferences, and further drive targeted promotions.

The traditional 2G and 3G solutions could not provide the optimal performance needed for many retail applications. Hence, with the wide availability of low-cost LTE connectivity, it has become possible to extend broadband capability practically anywhere. This enables the new cloud management services to monitor, manage, and secure retail deployments from a central location. The IoT cloud platform can manage all M2M devices and IoT wireless connections, thereby maintaining reliable business continuity. For instance, for every minute that Point Of Sale (POS) systems are down, retailers lose thousands of dollars in revenues. The best IoT platforms enables retailers to be online and eliminates any possibility of network failure. By making fast, secure, and reliable M2M communication, the IoT cloud platform enables the retailers to offer secure payment processing, POS machines, and smart vending machines for enhancing the customer shopping experience.

Best IoT Platforms

Comparing 22 vendors in IoT Platforms.
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FIN IoT platforms offers highly technical solutions to OEMs. It is faster for OEMs who want to customize and develop additional features and functionality on top. The enhanced API documentation makes it easier to find specific info.

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Kii IoT Platforms allows for development, scaling, testing, as well as optimization from one single integrated platform. It enables constant monitoring and automated updates with regards to security, performance, and spikes of usage. Kii facilitates the selection of an environment based on the requirements of the app and the business. It also provides completely managed private as well as public cloud options and instant capacity provisioning. Companies can track the metrics that are app-specific, and achieve effective ROI and better adoption.

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Murano IoT Platforms was built by individuals who understand the process of developing, manufacturing, and deploying products. Therefore, the route of connecting products to a platform is much more simplified.

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Nio IoT Platforms can be used to run on any cloud or any device. Intelligent devices can be created by the distribution of Nio from edge to cloud. Nio’s solution architects can visualize where the logic is applicable throughout the connected system.
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Ubidots IoT Platforms has a 99.9% uptime SLA due to its replication and automated failover across the global data centers of IBM. This allows companies to scale from a single device to that of a thousand others. Developers and operators can make use of Ubidots’ efficient and helpful cloud development tools and intuitive interfaces. Ubidots’ global reliability and usability comes in just as handy as its low barriers to entry.

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