IBM invests £2bn in IoT

News by Robert Abel

IBM has a £2 billion development programme better integrate data into its plaforms via a new internet of things unit, as well as creating a new a cloud platform.

IBM in the US has announced plans to invest more than £2 billion over the next four years to create an Internet of Things (IoT) business unit along with a cloud-based platform to help build (IoT) solutions.

With the initiative, IBM plans to help its clients tap into and take advantage of unused data generated by smart phones and other devices, the company said in a press release. IBM also announced it would partner with The Weather Company in the US to help better integrate weather data into IoT platforms.

IBM clients and industry partners will be able to "apply IoT data to build solutions based on an open platform," Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics, said in the press release. Noting that "innovation matters,” he explained that too often "we are not acting on" knowledge gained through the connectedness of devices and sensors, "even when we know we can ensure a better result."

The tech giant has contended that most data generated by devices is never analysed or used to its full potential and can lose value if not used promptly. To rectify that situation, the company will offer three new services to better harness and analyse data for its clients and partners, including a cloud-based platform for industries to leverage data, new methods to use the IoT cloud services for improved industry insight, and expanded resources to help better analyse data.  

The partnership with The Weather Company could help airlines and airports "better manage the logistical nightmare of weather-generated delays," an IBM spokesperson told in email correspondence. "Equipped with highly specific information on wind, temperature and other factors, fire fighters could battle wildfires more effectively," she added.

Last year IBM announced partnerships with Apple and Twitter to develop and provide enterprise friendly mobile apps for a more seamless experience and stronger industry insight. As it becomes a reality, the potential of the IoT has attracted a bevy of tech vendors, including Microsoft with its Azure IoT Suite and Amazon with its recent acquisition of 2lementry.

Pat Toole will head up IBM's IoT business unit as general manager.

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