The Platform Transformation: How the IoT Will Change IT, and When

Introduction

The Internet of Things (IoT) might be our future, but that future, with its many unknowns, can be a complex place to imagine. Consumers, private enterprise, and governments will all need to make many decisions about how and when to join in the stream of connectivity that is uniting more people, places, and (in the greatest numbers) things every day.

In fact, we have been living in this future for most of a generation. IoT has existed, under different names, since the concept of machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity was put into practice 20 to 25 years ago. That said, digitization, new connectivity standards, low costs, and the proliferation of IP addresses are taking business to the edge of a new level of complexity.

A distinct IoT platform is a relatively new manifestation of the technological trend, but already it is embedded in the landscape. Dozens of companies are offering the services, software, and hardware necessary to take companies into IoT functionality. The marketing is just gearing up, but the field is already robust. According to an IoT Analytics forecast, the IoT platform market is expanding rapidly, and projected to hit $1.6 billion by 2021.

The IoT stack is now a distinct creation of hardware, network, and software that brings the power and data of the Internet into working environments in ways that are distinct from the enterprise IT stack created in the early 2000s. Software platforms ...

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