Cloud will unleash M2M potential at last


The machine-to-machine market is poised for the biggest transformation in its 10-year history, as it starts to harness cloud technologies and evolve global standards.

Focal Points:

  • In the next three years, the M2M space will shift from vertically focused and often incompatible solutions to platforms and standards that can be used across many sectors. This, in turn, will lay the foundation for the Internet of Things, expected to be one of the biggest growth drivers for the device supply chain and for service providers in the second half of this decade.
  • This is the conclusion of a new report from aravedis- ethink, entitled 2 and Cloud as the Foundation for the Internet of Things‘ ( file/1103610692385-72/Brochure+M2M+Cloud+Report+July+2012.pdf).
  • "The key catalyst for this change will be the adoption of cloud-based approaches for M2M applications," said Bill Lesieur, cloud analyst and author of the report.
  • That will help address many of the biggest challenges to mass market M2M adoption, as identified in the survey. In particular, the move to the cloud will have a profound effect on the two most critical areas – the cost to deploy and the ability to scale. By unlocking data 'trapped' in vertical silos and exposing M2M systems to applications such as Facebook, innovative applications and services will be enabled.
  • "The cloud has dramatically reduced the cost and time to get pilot programs up and running in order to establish organizational support and maintain interest in M2M initiatives. Based on discussions with vendors and end user customers, large enterprise M2M projects historically have taken two to three years to complete and often at least $25 million in IT infrastructure investment. Cloud can slash that to a third or less," added Lesieur.

However, there are obstacles and risks too. Wireless carriers are eager to take a key role in the Internet of Things, but this raises dilemmas over spectrum. Some operators will keep 3G or even 2G networks running to support M2M, even though most systems will rely on 4G gateways in future.