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Microsoft Azure, AWS leading the battle of IoT deployments

By Shannon Williams
Fri 28 May 2021
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services have come out as the clear leaders in ABI Research’s IoT Device Onboard and Lifecycle Management Competitive Ranking.

The new Competitive Assessment provides an in-depth examination of the services offered by ten IoT players, while at the same time delivers market insights based on certain chosen technological criteria including IoT onboarding and lifecycle management solutions and ranks secure updates and FOTA (firmware-over-the-air), trusted device identity, intelligence, and automation options. 

The three criteria and their sub-elements were identified as the most vital for the evolution of IoT in a scalable and secure manner while also holding the reigns for the sustainable monetisation of IoT security in the evolving market landscape. 

According to the assessment, the companies evaluated and ranked are:

Market Leaders: Microsoft Azure and AWS

Mainstream: Pelion, Intel, Telit, Device Authority, Thales, and Digicert

Followers: Avsystem and Sequitur Labs

"Microsoft Azure and AWS are leading the battle at the very core of IoT deployments and enjoying the lions share of cloud dominance," says Dimitrios Pavlakis, senior analyst of IoT and digital security at ABI Research.

"Securing the device identity supply chain is a strong focus for companies like Intel, Device Authority, and Pelion, and secure hardware module manufacturers like Thales and Telit boast high levels of secure onboarding and lifecycle management," he says.

Pavlakis says understanding the intricacies of the market is key, 

"Cloud device management alone is not enough to guarantee victory; the importance of critical partnerships is as relevant as ever to increase market reach and not be consumed by the competition," he says.

"Intelligent solutions and automation are required for a sustainable lifecycle management environment, and even criteria like dev-tools and resource modularity can greatly add to the popularity of certain solutions and shape future IoT-borne revenue streams," Pavlakis explains. 

"Market evaluation for secure IoT management is challenging but necessary and IoT onboarding and lifecycle management is one of those instances where secure FOTA, automation, and trust device identity offerings can be the great equalisers."

A total of twelve criteria were chosen for the purposes of this analysis, identified by leading hardware, cloud, gateway, and security service providers as the most critical ones for future IoT deployments and segmented across innovation and implementation clusters. 

These include encryption and hardware security, cloud, and software options, breadth of dev tools and resources, IoT connectivity and ecosystem support, quality of strategic partnerships, regulatory policies, pricing, and monetisation, on top of the aforementioned FOTA, automation, and trusted ID. 

While each criterion hosts its own set of challenges for different IoT applications and various monetisation models, together they make up the brunt of the workload for next-generation IoT onboarding and lifecycle management.

"Organisations must revisit their IoT security monetisation strategy and align with the constantly shifting device management pieces prior to going to market and dispel the notion that innovation alone can grant them victory," says Pavlakis.

"Innovation without a clear device-to-cloud roadmap, a flexible monetisation strategy, and a solid partnership circle is utterly meaningless in most cases."

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