AWS Leading with IoT, But Google's in the Fight

The burgeoning IoT market shows a great deal of promise for MSPs looking to expand their business models; however, knowing whom to partner with might prove more important than the technology itself.

Frank J. Ohlhorst, IT Consultant, Editor-at-Large

April 30, 2018

3 Min Read

The internet of things (IoT) market is experiencing a significant growth spurt, bringing potentially unlimited opportunity to MSPs willing to take on the challenges associated with the ever-evolving IoT devices.

According to Variant Market Research, the global IoT market is estimated to reach nearly $1.6 trillion by 2024, up from $346 billion in 2016. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 21 percent. The rising demand for IoT devices will bring new technologies and use cases into the purview of any MSP, especially when the hypercloud comes into play.

The biggest component of IoT is actually the internet – or at the very least, the connectivity provided by the cloud – so that IoT devices are able to communicate. That means the developers of IoT platforms and solutions are coming to rely on the cloud as the primary connectivity enablement solution to bring forth the promise of IoT-enabled solutions. Purveyors of those solutions, such as MSPs, are then co-opted into using the cloud to build services around those IoT devices and platforms, and that is exactly where MSPs must take the most care.

With the major cloud services providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud, putting more skin in the game, IoT services enablement for MSPs is becoming a viable business model; however, as with many things cloud, everything is not created equal. Take for example the latest research report from the Eclipse Foundation, which reveals that developers are clearly playing favorites, at least when it comes to cloud platforms. The Eclipse Foundation’s fourth annual IoT developer survey found that nearly 52 percent of developers cited AWS as their IoT cloud platform, followed by 31 percent for Microsoft Azure. Google Cloud Platform was under 19 percent, down from the previous year.

The survey had more than 500 respondents, many of whom belong to different IoT developer communities, including IEEE and OMA SpecWorks. With more than half of the respondents showing favoritism to AWS for their IoT cloud platform, Amazon’s hypercloud surely is gaining a significant following in the IoT realm; however, MSPs have to wonder how that exactly translates into their IoT plans. For MSPs already leveraging AWS partnerships, the news is surely good, with AWS demonstrating a strong following among developers.

But don’t count Google out of the game. The company has been making efforts to turn up the IoT heat on AWS and Azure — for one, by acquiring LogMeIn’s Xively IoT device management platform in February. That acquisition should add to Google’s technology and engineering expertise, allowing the company to build on its Cloud IoT Core, Google’s managed service that securely connects, manages and ingests data from globally dispersed devices.

While the world of IoT and the hypercloud remains somewhat murky, growth is a given and MSPs might want to consider partnering with hypercloud vendors to establish a foothold in a potentially profitable market.

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About the Author(s)

Frank J. Ohlhorst

IT Consultant, Editor-at-Large

Frank J. Ohlhorst is an award-winning technology journalist and technology analyst, with extensive experience as an IT business consultant, editor, author, presenter and blogger. He frequently advises and mentors technology startups and established technology ventures, helping them to create channel programs, launch products, validate product quality, design support systems, build marketing materials, as well as create case studies and white papers.

Mr. Ohlhorst also has extensive experience assisting businesses looking to launch analytics projects, such as big data, business intelligence and resource management. He also has taken on contract roles as a temporary CIO, CTO and data scientist for startups and new ventures. Mr. Ohlhorst also provides forensic services for data security and assist with compliance audits, as well as researching the implications of compliance on a given business model.

Mr. Ohlhorst also has held the roles of CRN Test Center director, eWeek’s executive editor, technology editor for Channel Insider, and is also a frequent contributor to leading B2B publications.

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