IT Service Providers Play a Key Role in Ensuring Successful IoT Deployments

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • The role of IT services providers in offering IoT solutions to enterprises is important for delivering successful engagements that might otherwise have been thwarted by ecosystem fragmentation and complexity.
  • GlobalData’s August 2021 report on IT service provider IoT solutions highlights vendors that have developed unique portfolios and end-to-end solutions that can break through enterprise skepticism and reduce worry.

The fragmentation of the supplier ecosystem has long been a barrier to adoption of IoT, as enterprises are often confused, frustrated, and worried about having to separately negotiate, pay for, and manage connectivity, devices, security solutions, management platforms, and vertical solutions from multiple suppliers. The central role of IT services providers (ITSPs) in making IoT and other complex technologies easier to use while simultaneously helping to solve business problems is to offer a one-stop shop.  This approach combines the ITSP’s own and third-party partner solutions, while adding advisory, integration, professional and managed services, and end-to-end vertical solutions.

The competitors assessed in GlobalData’s recent report on this topic are examples of ITSPs engaged in leveraging IoT as a key technology, with a broad range of solutions, global capabilities, vertical expertise, and evidence of traction through customer references. In COVID-19 times, IoT has also evolved to become a key enabler of solutions to ensure the safety of workers, facilitate remote operations through monitoring and control, and ensure uninterrupted supply chains.  This has been reflected in both the messaging and the flurry of new alliances, acquisitions, and services introduced by ITSPs over the last six months.  In the GlobalData report, the IoT portfolios of six ITSPs, including Accenture, Atos, Capgemini, Cognizant, IBM, and Infosys, were selected for analysis, as these providers have focused on IoT as a driver of digital transformation for many years and have kept up-to-date with service expansions and portfolio evolution in order to meet changing enterprise requirements.  There are likely even more recent announcements that relate to IoT, as many ITSPs lump IoT together with an assortment of other technologies used to deliver digital transformation; it is often difficult to separate these enhancements or alliances out to analyze which providers are actually improving their IoT-specific portfolio.  The examples below highlight recent announcements:

  • Qualcomm and Capgemini announced plans to collaborate to use 5G private networks in ‘intelligent industry,’ including the digital enterprise, smart warehouses, and industrial IoT.
  • Wipro launched FieldX, a cloud-based end-to-end digital service lifecycle automation solution built on ServiceNow’s Now Platform.
  • Atos launched the Atos Computer Vision platform for manufacturing, smart city management, airport/retail security, and crowd movement monitoring. It also launched the Atos Urban Data Platform for smart integrated services across a city’s operational areas.  Atos further acquired Ipsotek, an AI-enhanced video analytics software provider.
  • Cognizant agreed to acquire TSQ Integration, which delivers manufacturing data intelligence, technology consulting, and digital systems integration in the smart manufacturing sector.
  • IBM announced a partnership with Atos to use IoT data in video analytics solutions, deployed on BullSequana Edge servers using IBM Edge Application Manager. IBM also partnered with ClearBlade to launch a no-code IoT application for tracking, monitoring, control, and inferencing.
  • Cognizant acquired ESG Mobility, a digital automotive engineering R&D provider for connected, autonomous, and electric vehicles.
  • Siemens, IBM, and Red Hat launched a hybrid cloud initiative to deliver Siemens’ MindSphere in the industrial IoT services sector.

It remains difficult for some IoT ecosystem vendors (including ITSPs) to generate substantial revenues for IoT solutions, with security breaches, supplier fragmentation, and perceived high solution costs often listed by enterprises as barriers to adoption, along with unclear or difficult-to-prove ROIs.  However, ITSPs play a key role in this environment, offering a way to clear away many of these objections with a one-stop shop, providing access to a relevant set of partners for particular use cases and verticals, and applying consulting and professional services to smooth the path for hesitant enterprises.  Successful ITSPs have distinguished themselves with unique platforms, diverse strategic partners, a focus on new or unique verticals, and an array of end-to-end solutions.  5G and the advent of cellular private networks are also positive indicators for renewed excitement about IoT, and both operators and ITSPs will remain important facilitators of successful deployments.

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