IBM to connect industry to the Internet of Things

Posted on 1 Apr 2015 by Jonny Williamson

IBM has announced that it will invest $3 billion over the next four years to establish a new Internet of Things (IoT) unit, and that it's building a cloud-based open platform to help clients and ecosystem partners across industries better integrate real-time data and insights from dispersed sources directly into business operations.

With new industry-specific cloud data services and developer tools, IBM will build on its expertise to integrate data from an unprecedented number of Internet of Things (IoT) and traditional sources.

It will be made available on an open platform to provide industrial makers and operators with the ability to design and manufacture better connected devices and create systems that take advantage of enterprise and IoT data for business decision-making.

Bob Picciano, senior vice president for IBM Analytics, commented: “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.

“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.”

IBM estimates that 90% of all data generated by devices like smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances is never analysed or acted upon. As much as 60% 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: New analytics services to design and deliver vertical industry IoT solutions for industry clients on the IBM Cloud, an open platform that is also available to clients and ecosystem partners looking to build their own data-driven solutions.  

For example, IBM will introduce a cloud-based service that helps insurance companies extract insight from connected vehicles. This will enable new, more dynamic pricing models and the delivery of services that can be highly customised to individual drivers.

IBM Bluemix IoT Zone: New IoT services as part of Bluemix platform-as-a-service (PaaS) will enable easy integration of IoT data into cloud-based development and deployment of IoT apps. Developers will be able to enrich existing business applications – such as enterprise asset management, facilities management, and software engineering design tools – by infusing more real-time data and embedded analytics to further automate and optimise business critical IoT processes.

IBM IoT Ecosystem: 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 and seamless integration of data services and solutions on IBM’s open platform.

IBM’s capabilities are illustrated in its new recent global partnership with The Weather Company – including WSI, its professional division – which provides over 2.2 billion forecasts per day around the globe, drawing from data sources that include more than 100,000 private weather sensors, aircraft and drones, as well as millions of smartphones, buildings and even moving vehicles.

The two companies will help industries operationalise their understanding of the impact of weather on business outcomes and take action systemically to optimise those parts of their businesses.