IBM is to invest $3billion over the next four years to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit. It will also build a cloud based open platform to help clients and ecosystem partners across industries better integrate real-time data from dispersed sources directly into business operations.
"Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result," said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics. "IBM will enable clients and industry partners apply IoT data to build solutions based on an open platform. This is a major focus of investment for IBM because it's a rich and broad-based opportunity where innovation matters."
There will be three main planks to the strategy. The IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries will offer new analytics services, allowing vertical industry IoT solutions to be designed and delivered on the IBM Cloud, an open platform available to those looking to build data driven solutions. For example, IBM will introduce a cloud based service that helps insurance companies extract insight from connected vehicles.
This will be accompanied by the IBM Bluemix IoT Zone. New IoT services, as part of the Bluemix 'platform as a service' concept, will enable integration of IoT data into cloud based development and deployment of IoT apps.
Finally, the IBM IoT Ecosystem will bring in a range of partners – from silicon and device manufacturers to industry oriented solution providers – such as AT&T, ARM and Semtech.
Using industry specific cloud data services and developer tools, IBM says it will build on its expertise to integrate data from IoT and traditional sources, then make it available on an open platform to provide industrial 'makers' and 'operators' with the ability to design and manufacture better connected devices and systems.