IBM has announced it has established an Internet of Things (IOT) Unit and is ploughing a $3bn investment into the area over the next four years.
The investment is also part of efforts around Big Blue's cloud-based open platform, which IBM hopes will attract customers and ecosystem partners that will build IoT solutions.
IBM’s Smarter Planet and Smarter Cities initiative was based on practical applications of IoT in the enterprise with solutions including water management, optimizing retail and customer loyalty and alleviating traffic congestion.
“Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but to often we are not acting on it, even when we know we can ensure a better result,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics
Industry specific resources will now be made available on an open platform to extend that expertise so manufacturers can design and produce next generation connected devices, optimized for the IoT. Industry leaders will also be able to create business systems fusing data from enterprises and to better inform decision-making.
“IBM will enable clients and industry partners apply IoT data to build solutions based on an open platform,” continued Picciano, “This is a major focus of investment for IBM because it’s a rich and broad-based opportunity where innovation matters.”
IBM has announced that the IoT unit will be headed by Pat Toole as general manager with the vendor anticipating serious growth in the market. It estimates that 90% of all data generated by smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances is never analyzed or acted on. As much as 60% of this information begins to lose value within milliseconds of being generated.
As well as the open platform details of the unit include new IoT services as part of IBM’s Bluemix platform-as-a-service will enable developers to integrate IoT data into cloud-based development and deploy of IoT apps and expansion of its ecosystem of IoT partners – from silicon and device manufacturers to industry-oriented solution providers
These capabilities are the basis for new global strategic alliance announced today with The Weather Company through WSI, its global B2B division.
WSI’s forecasting system processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2bn unique forecast points worldwide, with over 10bn forecasts a day.
The IoT and cloud computing allow for collection of data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and moving vehicles. The alliance should help industries utilize their understanding of weather on business outcomes and take the appropriate action.