A complete IoT system needs several components: hardware such as sensors and devices; connectivity allowing data and instructions to move either into and out of the cloud; software that analyses data collected from the hardware and facilitates decision-making arising from the analysis; and a dashboard or user interface that enables interaction between the IoT system and users.
Most descriptions of IoT platforms point to software that sits between IoT devices and applications. HIS Markit counts over 400 IoT platform providers.
The latest "IoT Platforms Vendor Scorecard" report from IHS Markit shows Huawei taking the top spot, while Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and PTC rounded out the top four ranking. Alibaba, Amazon Web Services, General Electric, IBM and SAP are also covered in the report.
“Huawei was the leading IoT platform vendor, based on the number of devices under management, the high rate of device growth under management, its strategic commitment to the internet of things (IoT) market, and the technical innovation the company has achieved with respect to its platform,” said Sam Lucero, senior principal analyst, IoT, IHS Markit.
Likewise, Cisco Systems was particularly notable for the range of IoT platform functionalities targeted. Microsoft benefitted from its massive investment in IoT and strong enterprise sales force, while PTC excelled in its intense focus on the market and the broad ecosystem of partners it has established.
The “IoT Platforms Vendor Scorecard” report evaluates vendors in the context of market presence and market momentum.
For market presence, IHS Markit examined elements including the volume of devices currently managed on the vendor’s platform, the vendor’s overall financial strength and their strategic commitment to the IoT platforms market.
For market momentum, IHS Markit assessed factors including the growth rate of devices on the vendor’s platform, the range of IoT platform functions targeted, the breadth of vertical markets targeted, the strength of IoT ecosystem development efforts and the technical innovation relative to IoT platforms.