Channel technologies

Internet of Things World 2016: 5 IoT Trends to Watch

When Internet of Things World kicks off May 10 in Santa Clara, Calif., thousands of startups and established IT companies will intermingle. Legacy businesses also will be on hand, striving to figure out how to IoT-enable manufacturing, transportation and other types of systems. Like the IoT wave itself, Internet of Things World is a conference that got really big... really fast. Here's a sampling of what to expect at the show...

Eric Williams
Eric Williams

1. IoT and Distributors: Yes, plenty of distributors will be on hand at the conference. Avnet Technology Solutions will be particularly active. During their respective sessions, Eric Williams, VP of global IoT, will describe how to monetize IoT with data analytics; and Alex Ryals, VO of solutions development, will explore the future of IT. Avnet has spent the past year or so placing heavy bets on IoT and digital transformation -- with key leaders like Tim FitzGerald and Williams moving into new roles.

2. IoT Clouds: Keep a close eye on cloud platforms built specifically for IoT applications. Names, platforms and brands to know include Amazon AWS IoT, GE PredixGoogle Cloud Platform IoT, IBM Internet of Things Foundation, Microsoft Azure IoT Suite and Salesforce IoT Cloud. (Which additional platforms are you tracking?)

Michelle De Hertogh

3. IoT Developer Tools & Platforms: Here, keep an eye on Samsung ARTIK, which helps developers to shape solutions for smart homes, personal monitoring, smart cities, and the automotive industry. On a somewhat related note, EMC alliance veteran Michelle De Hertogh is now VP of strategic alliances for Samsung SDS America. Hmmm...

4. IoT and RMM Software Companies?: I've said it before and I'll say it again. Generally speaking, I think MSP-focused RMM (remote monitoring and management) software companies are late to the IoT device and senior management market. In many cases, too many RMM companies remain too focused on server, PC and notebook management. Check in with your RMM provider. Ask them if or how they're participating in IoT World and related R&D...

5. IoT Security: A boatload of security-related IoT announcements are on the way. Mum's the word for now...

6. BONUS A Simple Question: Overall, the IoT topic can be overwhelming for MSPs and VARs. To keep things simple, reframe your internal staff conversations and external customer conversations using this approach:

  • What you need to ask yourself: What steps are we taking to gather, manage, store, optimize, secure and monetize data?
  • What you need to ask your customers: What steps are you taking to gather, manage, store, optimize, secure and monetize data?

In other words, IoT is only one piece of a much larger data conversation. But in many cases, I suspect MSPs and VARs are not yet having that conversation -- not internally, and not with customers. The arrival of IoT World is a perfect excuse to begin exploring those conversations.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.