The Increasing Importance of System Integrators in the IoT Value Chain

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3Q 2017 | IN-4684

Ahead of the 2015 Industry of Things World conference in 2015, ABI Research issued an online survey targeting IoT suppliers and end-users to gauge their progress in IoT projects and to get a better sense of how they viewed the market. When asked about what the prominent challenges were in implementing IoT solutions, both suppliers and end-users pointed to the usual suspects of security concerns and uncertain ROI. Both groups also expressed concerns over challenges with integrating legacy systems. Additionally, 40% of users cited that one of their main inhibitors in deploying IoT solutions was a combination of a lack of suppliers in the marketplace with end-to-end technology expertise and a lack of suppliers with end-to-end knowledge of vendors and partners offering hardware and other services in the IoT value chain. Companies like ThingWorx, Microsoft, and Intel continued to refine their partner program ecosystems to address these market conditions.

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Existing Legacy Systems

NEWS


Ahead of the 2015 Industry of Things World conference in 2015, ABI Research issued an online survey targeting IoT suppliers and end-users to gauge their progress in IoT projects and to get a better sense of how they viewed the market. When asked about what the prominent challenges were in implementing IoT solutions, both suppliers and end-users pointed to the usual suspects of security concerns and uncertain ROI. Both groups also expressed concerns over challenges with integrating legacy systems. Additionally, 40% of users cited that one of their main inhibitors in deploying IoT solutions was a combination of a lack of suppliers in the marketplace with end-to-end technology expertise and a lack of suppliers with end-to-end knowledge of vendors and partners offering hardware and other services in the IoT value chain. Companies like ThingWorx, Microsoft, and Intel continued to refine their partner program ecosystems to address these market conditions. 

Partnerships

IMPACT


In 2017, ABI issued another online survey focused on the attitudes, intentions, and deployments of transformative technologies of 455 decision makers, influencers, and implementers. Again, survey respondents were asked about what they saw as the challenges in IoT adoption. Data security and privacy concerns again was the top response overall. However, data security did not score highly across all industry verticals. One of the key barriers across industry verticals is aligning innovation with existing legacy frameworks. Across all industry verticals, end-users are looking for suppliers who have extensive knowledge and expertise not only just in that particular market segment, but also throughout the entirety of the value chain. To address these challenges, solution providers from across the IoT value chain from device manufacturers and connectivity enablers to partner program members and leaders have been turning to system integrators to fill the gaps. As a result, end-users have been increasingly relying on system integrators to take on leading, client facing roles in implementing their IoT solutions.  

System of Systems

COMMENTARY


End-users and other service providers who once relied on system integrators to make machine data from the device cloud accessible to enterprise applications and internal systems like ERP and CRM are now utilizing system integrators in a sort of IoT project manager role to guide digital transformations and to bridge the gap between IT and OT. This is partially because there is a significant amount of crossover between system integrators and professional service providers such as consultants and project managers. A global system integrator like Accenture can leverage its advisory and consulting services with its expertise in system integration and the overall market landscape to take a leading role in guiding digital transformations within the enterprise market. Companies like Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC are positioning themselves as IoT consultants and advisors now to establish a long-term stickiness with clients in the form of future system development and deployments.      

Additionally, partner programs are establishing relationships with SIs across multiple vertical specialties to attract and retain clients. In October 2016, Dell announced that it had partnered with four leading system integrators to provide its customers with more choices in for IoT deployments. Each of the SIs had a different target vertical focus. Action Point is focused on manufacturing, natural resources, and transportation and logistics, while Datatrend targets communication, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and hospitality, transportation and logistics, as well as financial services and security. By expanding its program to SIs, Dell was attempting to further build an ecosystem of industry-focused, end-to-end IoT solutions. System integrators will continue to work with partners and clients to de-fragment the fragmented IoT value chain.

Services