This is the era of the Systems Integrator. Why? Because only an SI can lead the Internet of Things forward and deliver on the promise of end-to-end solutions. They are the new superheroes of the IoT.
Until recently the IoT has been dominated by vertical domain operational or pure technology companies. What is clear today is that, to deliver true digital transformation, you really need an SI in order to be able to orchestrate the complexity and develop your desired solutions. Let me explain.
My journey and curiosity with the Internet of Things (IoT) started with the “machine to machine” (M2M) era back in 2005, when the role I took introduced me to the industrial automation and operational technology market.
I quickly understood how the M2M world was set for massive change when I heard the early rumblings of what was to become the IoT. What struck me in these early days is that solutions were, in principle, tied – i.e. offered by a single supplier or vendor who had built a specific vertical or industry domain solution. Examples included building management system (BMS) solutions that focused on energy management in buildings, SCADA based systems for manufacturing lines, or a telematics solution for commercial vehicles.
With the tipping point of IOT finally delivering on the promise, true adoption and implementation by companies and by the public sector is now taking place. This is, however, at a cost - often due to the complexity of delivering an IoT solution that enables business transformation and digital transformation with predictive business models. This requires a very different approach than that of the M2M era, one that has to be made up of various partners working together as a consortium to bring a solution to life.
Consider the IoT stack is made up of many layers of technology from the sensor, a connectivity layer (for example to an edge IOT gateway running the necessary software to aggregate and analyze sensor data), security to secure the sensor and the relevant filtered data sent to the cloud via a communication network that is encrypted. Encryption could be from a mobile telco operator over 4G or a Low Power Wide Area network (LPWAN) to the cloud.
Now consider the cloud host data center - is it public, hybrid or private on-premises (due to data compliancy and regulation)? Add all these points, the necessary integration, implementation and services suddenly an IOT solution is very complex.
So to my point, on a recent trip to India I had the good fortune to meet a number of global IT systems integrators at our annual Software AG Partner tour. The message was simple and clear: Market conditions and the growing maturity of IOT make the SI market ready to lead. Why? To truly manage an IOT solution you need a partner with in-depth resources equipped to provide real value in orchestrating the end-to-end” value proposition - no matter what the use case is.
I would argue that software companies, technology or telcos are not in a position to prime from a “best of breed” point of view. The systems integrator’s time is now and Software AG is firmly invested in creating the IOT ecosystem with its key partners to support SI initiatives.
If you would like to discuss what the era of the SI for IOT means for you, please come to my “meet the expert” session at the Innovation Tour in London. There I will outline the IOT “journey to value,” e.g. true business transformation that comes not just from Software AG, but all of our ecosystem of partners primed by an SI.
You can register by clicking below. Up, up and away!