IIoT platform can refer to any piece of software that fills a role in application enablement in an industrial environment. Manufacturers need this software to connect devices, extract data from their equipment, process it, store it, and deliver it to finished applications. No platform does all of this well, but many IIoT platform providers now have partner ecosystems designed to meet the individual needs of any prospective client.
Perhaps the ‘platforms’ that most suit that word fill the role of an application enablement platform (AEP). AEPs provide a solution for importing data, but they often require partners to provide gateways. Some AEPs provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ that can take the data from a least some devices and might also work like an operating system with an app store. If they keep app development open, they can feature apps built by the AEP provider, apps from partners (which may also call themselves a platform), end users or independent developers, much like smart phone app stores. Some ‘one-stop-shops’ focus more on the extraction of data and getting it to the cloud, while others focus more on delivering the data to enterprise systems or the operating system. Other IIoT platforms specialize in a specific piece of application enablement or microservice such as fog computing or processing raw sensor data.
This report examines the drivers, inhibitors, classification and roles of IIoT platforms and provides strategic guidance to both CIOs of platform providers and managers at manufacturing companies. The “Market forecasts” section analyzes ABI Research’s forecasts for device and app platform revenues and connections from the second iteration of the Industrial Internet Connectivity Tracker. The “Platform profiles” sections covers a wide variety of vendors that contribute to or provide a variety of different types of IIoT platforms.