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The Industrial Internet of Things FEATURE NEWS

IIoT Platforms: Billions in Opportunity but Fragmented Challenged by Integration

By Ken Briodagh February 22, 2018

In its latest report, ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing guidance on technology, has identified drivers and inhibitors faced by IIoT platform providers and manufacturers as they look to implement Industrial IoT (IIoT) solutions. Some of the key findings include:

  • Platform providers need to deepen and broaden the capabilities of their platforms to support and integrate emerging transformative technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI).
  • Platform providers should sell to IT but work closely with OT.
  • Manufacturers should choose partners that will provide consulting as they continue to evolve.

“If platform providers hope to keep their offerings relevant, they must work with suppliers of other transformative technologies to provide the most valuable functions and components,” said Pierce Owen, Principal Analyst, ABI Research. “For instance, AR applications require business rule functions, digital twin functionality, near real-time metrics, zero-touch onboarding, and advanced analytics features.”

Siemens Mindsphere currently leads the pack of Application Enablement Platforms largely due to Siemens’ domain knowledge as an automation supplier, its M&A strategy, R&D budget and its size, according to the report. In addition, Siemens has a large installed base of its own physical products to which it can connect Mindsphere easily, a vast ecosystem in the manufacturing sector, and its own manufacturing facilities where it can perform internal use PoCs.

Other IIoT platforms specialize in a specific piece of application enablement or microservice such as fog computing or processing raw sensor data. ABI Research sees FogHorn Systems as a key innovator in edge computing and complex event processing (CEP) at the edge.

“Adoption of IIoT technology will accelerate in 2018 as manufacturers overcome their fear of the cloud and the acquisitions of Siemens and PTC start to mature. During this acceleration, several AEPs will grow and pick up market share, but only those who expand the depth and breadth of their capabilities and transformative technologies to provide more value to more customers will sustain that growth,” said Owen.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Smart Manufacturing Platform Assessment report. This report is part of the company’s Smart Manufacturing research service.


Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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