The importance of cloud-based M2M platforms cannot be overstated. The "Internet of Things" (IOT) will be comprised of billions of connected devices across numerous verticals. Cellular wide-area networks (WAN) will play an important role in providing connectivity "either directly or indirectly" to a good portion of the devices that make up the IOT. The IOT itself will be designed as a Network of Networks. Various short- and long-range technologies have to co-exist in order to facilitate data communication between these connected devices and the enterprise backend. The current IOT environment is in a state of near chaotic change, with new hardware, interfaces, network access technologies, application protocols and technologies, and other individual components added or deleted quite regularly. This creates massive complexities for the M2M solution providers, who have to take all this fragmentation into account when designing, implementing, and upgrading their solutions.  Adding large amount of connected devices will also result in significant amount of data ("Big Data") that needs to be stored, analyzed, reported, and archived. The current state of the industry is comparable to the early days of the Smartphone revolution, where hundreds of thousands of application developers are testing new ideas to develop the next big application for the connected world. However, many of these efforts run the risk of not achieving commercial fruition, largely because of the fact the early innovators do not have the required expertise, resources, or time to address the industry fragmentation. Unlike the Smartphone or other types of connected display devices that have standardized around a few main operating platforms, the M2M space continues to grow rapidly, with each vertical having its own set of platforms and pre-defined (and sometimes rigid) way of implementing M2M solutions. However, all M2M deployments send data either proactively or in response to a specific command to an application over a public or a private network. Exceptional growth in M2M will lead to exponential increase in the amount of computing power required to effectively manage all that transactional data coming in from connected devices. These are some of the reasons why the M2M cloud providers - that can provide the necessary resources to application developers to help them get started with M2M application development and deployments with relative ease - are expected to see significant adoption for their services. A well-designed and appropriately priced M2M cloud platform can certainly provide a cost-effective way to introduce new M2M applications to the market. In the past, M2M application providers have had little choice but to develop and manage the entire communication system on their own. This was a very costly affair, and clearly was not a very scalable approach. Cross-vertical communication between M2M applications (such as an electric vehicle and the Smart Grid) is important to help derive maximum benefits from the connected devices revolution. Security and compliance requirement are also evolving rapidly, and this places an additional burden on M2M solution providers who have to ensure that their deployments are in line with the key expectations of their customer and the regulatory authorities. In many cases, ongoing audits and certification requirements can place additional economic burden on M2M deployments, especially those that are custom built to serve the need of a one particular customer, industry, or a vertical.

Published Date: 
Wed, 08/08/2012
Publisher Source: 
Frost & Sullivan