The Internet of Things Requires a United Front

by Matt Klassen on August 12, 2014

The growing Internet of Things (IoT) has sparked interest across a multitude of industries as companies vie for a piece of this burgeoning new market. But with such a myriad of diverse industries now rebranding and refocusing their products in an attempt to fit somewhere in the ever-growing IoT ecosystem it threatens to create a cacophony of technological chaos, with each company or product trying to go it alone in a market that, by definition, is founded on interconnectivity.

While the tech industry searches for a standard by which to create a comprehensive Internet of Things the stark reality of such a connected everything existence is that no one company will be able to truly dominate the market, that is, provide end-to-end solutions across the IoT landscape.

In fact, as several companies have already realized, to create this comprehensive web of connectivity simply requires too many moving parts for any one company to handle, meaning partnership, cooperation, and collaboration will be the keys to our technological future.

With the development of the IoT still in its infancy its really not a surprise to see such variation and attempted independence, as company’s are still looking for that homerun product, service, platform, or even architecture that will catapult the lucky firm to connected everything stardom. But most smart companies have already put aside that pipedream, and we’re already seeing the beginnings of the collaboration that will be necessary to truly connect our world together.

Established tech consortiums such as the IEEE Standards Association, European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and ITU Global Standards Initiative (GSI) have already created specific committees to address the unique challenges of creating an IoT ecosystem.

Further, there are a number of industry driven groups trying to establish their own IoT common standards, each backed by one or more big names in the tech industry seeking to influence the growth and development of this burgeoning market. The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) is led by GE, Cisco, AT&T, Intel, and IBM. In the Open Interconnect Consortium (OIC), Intel has partnered with Samsung, Atmel, Broadcom, Dell, and Qualcomm.

The tech market is also seeing a flurry of interest in start-ups and other smaller firms that specialize in IoT specific technologies or products, with the bigger tech players attempting to snatch up anything and everything they can in order to gain some sort of competitive edge.

But try as they might the reality of the Internet of Things is that it’s going to require a great deal more collaboration than we’re currently seeing. Tech companies, even the big ones, are going to have to eventually realize that consumers won’t want to have to choose products as part of their connected everything existence based on what standard those products adhere to, they’re just going to want the connectivity they’ve been promised.

Therefore, as TechNewsWorld writer Jeff Kaplan explains, “It is essential for the companies that want to play a major role in the IoT marketplace to team with third parties to build a solid IoT ecosystem and acquire other companies that can extend their IoT capabilities.” It’s a lesson we all should have learned in Kindergarten, we can achieve so much more by working together than we ever could working alone.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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