A tangle of silos
The IoT ecosystem is organized in a tangle of silos that prevents easy collaboration.
The rapid deployment of connected objects in all sectors of society implies the need for general interoperability and collaboration to implement business workflows, optimize the use of connected infrastructures, extend lifetime, reduce financial and environmental impacts and develop new service packages. Witness McKinsey, who estimates that 40% of IoT business value is related to the ability of solutions to interoperate.
Unfortunately we see now an IoT ecosystem organized into a tangle of silos that prevents connected devices from easy collaboration. As the cost of developing a connected object has decreased dramatically, the number and variety of connected devices is rapidly growing. Dominant publishers strengthen their monopolies by deterring interoperability, locking customers within their eco-system. Verticals (smart city, smart building, smart home, industry 4.0...) develop their own codes, standards and practices, all obstacles to transversal services. The multiplicity of IoT platforms (450+ as we speak), specialized or with general purpose, is fragmenting the market. Many telecom operators offer IoT/M2M services with limited geographical scope; general roaming is not always available or simply affordable.
The current IoT organization creates so many dependencies between vendors, objects, infrastructure and services that it is increasingly complex and heavy to achieve the required interoperability and collaboration between devices and platforms. Of course, it is always possible to ‘manually’ interconnect them by developing specific software. After all, when you sell adapters, why worry about fixing connectivity issues?
We are in hole, should we keep digging? This is the time for a general solution to this interoperability problem, before this technical debt hurts the business of IoT users and paralyze the eco-system. A solution that allows customers to easily and cost-effectively define and deploy their own enterprise workflows wherever their devices are connected, regardless of technologies they use, regardless of the providers they buy from.