IBM will invest US$3 billion over the next four years to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit, alongside the building a Cloud-based open platform designed to help clients and ecosystem partners build IoT solutions.
The company’s work in Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities was based on practical applications of IoT in the enterprise and led to a broad set of solutions, ranging from water management to optimising retail and customer loyalty to alleviating traffic congestion.
With new industry-specific Cloud data services and developer tools, IBM claims it will “build on that expertise” to help clients and partners integrate data from an “unprecedented number” of IoT and traditional sources.
These resources will be made available on an open platform to provide manufacturers with the ability to design and produce a new generation of connected devices that are better optimised for the IoT, and to help business leaders across industries create systems that better fuse enterprise and IoT data to inform decision-making.
“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,” says 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.”
At present, IBM estimates that 90 per cent of all data generated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances is never analysed or acted on.
As much as 60 per cent of this data begins to lose value within milliseconds of being generated.
To address this challenge, IBM is announcing it will offer IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries which will provide new analytics services that clients, partners and IBM will use to design and deliver vertical industry IoT solutions.
The tech giant will also release IBM Bluemix IoT Zone, a new IoT service as part of IBM’s Bluemix platform-as-a-service which will enable developers to integrate IoT data into cloud-based development and deployment of IoT apps.
Finally, the company will launch IBM IoT Ecosystem, an expansion of its ecosystem of IoT partners – from silicon and device manufacturers to industry-oriented solution providers – such as AT&T, ARM, Semtech and newly announced The Weather Company – to ensure the secure integration of data services and solutions on IBM’s open platform.