Am I an atypical IoT platforms market analyst?
One year ago, I wrote the first part of this article: “Who need an IoT Analyst?. In those first part, I classified the different types of analysts who are involved in one way or another in the Internet of things (IoT).
In this second part, I will address the special case of analysts specializing in IoT Platforms. For them, I have created 4 categories of IoT Platform Analysts (The Powerful, the Specialists, The Opportunist and the Intruders) and then I ranked them following two high level criteria: Technical Experience criteria and Business Experience criteria. The level of influence is a subjective value based on my own research and perception. Likewise, the position in terms of technical and business criteria is also subjective. As usual in these graphics some will feel comfortable and I will receive critics from others. Nothing new under the Sun.
Let us start for the Powerful category:
The IoT Platforms Powerful Analysts' Firms
We will never remove at 100% the shadow of doubt flying over the reports and recommendations that prestigious and powerful firms like McKinsey, Gartner, IDC or Forrester continue to publish. But it also true that these multinational companies count with great analysts and they have the contacts with the right people in the Big IoT platform vendors, so they can get not only marketing info but strategic info from these vendors that is nearly impossible to get for others.
Not all the Powerful always agree, just read the Forrester reports of Q4/2016 and Q4/2018 and compare with Gartner report 2018 or IDC report 2017 to see the differences and the reasonable doubts for customers that only read these reports.
In Forrester reports from 2016 and 2018 we see some leaders maintaining their positions while other companies are losing moment, or they are not anymore in the picture.
Surprise even more if you see the Gartner graphic below with no leaders and most companies in the Niche players segment.
Finally, in the IDC Marketspace IoT Platforms picture dated in 2017 we see that Microsoft, PTC and IBM repeat as Leaders but new companies are included. No Contenders neither participants are interested for the guys of IDC.
Recommendation – In terms of methodology and scope the reports of these Powerful analyst is not so bad, but they lack the in deep analysis firms required for a customer to take a final decision. These reports are valuable to shortlist candidates in RFIs/RFPs and of course the report is an excellent sales tool for companies that appear in the picture. My recommendation is used it for a first filter.
The IoT Platforms Specialist Analysts' Firms
Some of them started with the M2M market and have evolved to the IoT in a gradual way, without losing its essence like ABI Research, Berg Insight, Beecham Research, Harbor Research. Others like MatchManation or IoT Analytics, however, focused from the beginning in the IoT platform market analysis.
The populated market of IoT platform vendors and the need of these startups for brand recognition with low cost marketing, have made it bloom IoT platform specialist analyst firms offering their services. Their suspense sales strategy can be annoying. Go discovering who is who is not easy and put all the tracks together is expensive. Some examples below. Nevertheless, I want to thanks to some vendors included in the report that allow download partial reports.
Recommendation - The reports of IoT Platform specialists will help us discover some jewels that the Powerful have overlooked or have not wanted to pay to appear in their famous reports. I do not like how these companies use a game-strategy offering partial pictures or partial reports through their most valuated clients or generic pictures with no names. I believe they need to be courageous and present graphics will all companies’ logos. Otherwise they will be continuing in a niche market that soon will be owned for the Big Players.
The Opportunistic Firms
These analyst firms want to take advantage of the IoT platform moment. Companies such as Navigant, IHS market, 451 Research or Constellation Research have published reports on this topic.
Recommendation - I find their IoT reports useful from a vertical or an individual vendor analysis.
The Intruders Firms
There are other firms (The Intruders) that in my opinion are aggregators of content. Companies like Markets and Markets or Data Bridge deliver big reports with excellent pictures, tables and infographics.
Recommendation - Sometimes they provide for free a Table of Contents with dozens of tables, and a list of dozens of IoT platforms info but I am afraid that in 1 page per platform the info sounds irrelevant for take a decision. They facilitate the multi search in Google to identify IoT platform vendors.
Note: I have not included in this article Universities that produce very interesting to read reports including more granular technical criteria than most of the powerful or specialist analyst firms.
Recommending a client an IoT platform is a very delicate matter. The IoT platform will play a key role in the execution of its IoT strategy. Giving good advice on the choice of these platforms requires a lot of time and dedication with the client to understand their objectives, identify their use cases, know their organization and their IT / OT systems.
The reports of the analysts of IoT platforms, both those of the Powerful and those of specialists help to make a first filter and to select 3 or 4 vendors that best adapt to their needs. Thereafter, these finalists need to be analyzed in greater depth. That is why I decided to create our IoT Platforms services, which have been so successful and well received by our customers.
We value positively that this combination of IoT Platform vendors and IoT platform analysts exists. The Powerful ones help them as always and the small ones help them in their efforts to be noticed in a technological world as little democratic as the present one.