IBM earmarks US$3-B for new IoT unit

According to IBM’s estimates, as much as 90 per cent of all data generated by devices such as connected vehicles, appliances, smart phones, and tablets are never analyzed or acted on. No less than 60 per cent of this data begins to lose value within milliseconds of being generated.

In order to help enterprise clients efficiently capture and make use of all this data, IBM said it will invest some US$3 billion over the next four years to create an Internet of Things unit that will build a cloud-based open platform for building IoT solutions.

The move will also involve expanding its ecosystem partnerships to include the likes of The Weather Company, owner of American cable and satellite firm The Weather Channel; telecommunication corporation AT&T, chipmaker ARM Holdings; and semiconductor firm Semtech Corp.

The Weather Company, through its global B2B division’s WSI forecasting system, ingests and processes data from thousands of sources. This results in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days. The IoT and cloud computing allow for the collection of data from more than 100,000 weather sensors and aircraft, millions of smartphones, buildings and even moving vehicles.

IBM and The Weather Company use their understanding of the effects of weather on business outcomes to help firms take action on insights that will improve processes and services.

Big Blue will also train more than 2,000 consultants, researchers and developers to help companies to analyze and find new ways to use the massive amounts of data that is available to them.

IBM said it will use its industry-specific cloud data services and developer tools to work with its clients and partner in integrating data collected from “IoT and traditional sources.”

Information and resources produced from this venture will be available on an open platform so that businesses can use them to design and build a new generation of connected devices “better optimized for the IoT.”

The IBM IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries will provide new analytics services for clients and partners and IBM will use it to design vertical industry IoT solutions.

For example, IBM plans to introduce a cloud-based service to aim insurance companies pull out insights from connected vehicles to come up with customized offerings for individual drivers.

IBM’s Bluemix platform-as-a-service will also be used to help developers integrate IoT data into the cloud-based development of IoT apps.

“Our knowledge of the world grows with every connected sensor and device, but too 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. “IBM will enable clients and industry partners apply IoT data to build solutions based on an open platform.”

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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