AWS announced a bunch of new Internet of Things news this week at aws:reinvent. This follows Salesforce.com announcing its own Internet of Things initiative at Dreamforce last month and Microsoft's IoT suite announcement last March. I do believe I smell a trend.
What's driving these companies to embrace the Internet of Things? Think about what IoT is for a minute — it's devices and sensors constantly transmitting data. That data is just gushing in, and the cloud with its set of elastic resources is uniquely positioned to deal with it.
The data needs to be sucked in, stored, processed, and used by various applications. These cloud companies, whatever their motivations, are interested in helping companies do this. The fact is that organizations are beginning to see the value of working with this big data coming in from IoT, but they are at a loss as to how to handle all of these data processing tasks and make use of it.
The cloud vendors are there to serve your needs, and they recognize a market opportunity when they see one. Consider the number of services that the newly announced Amazon IoT tools are going to touch.
As TechCrunch's Ingrid Lunden wrote, the new tools cover a lot of ground:
AWS IoT will integrate with Lambda, Amazon Kinesis, Amazon S3, Amazon Machine Learning, and Amazon DynamoDB to build IoT applications, manage infrastructure and analyze data.
Every time that data touches one of those services, the AWS cash register goes 'ka-ching.'
Microsoft Likes It Too
For Microsoft, it's a similar motivation, although the company is couching it in terms of helping customers be more productive, of course:
Microsoft’s vision is to help companies thrive in this era of IoT, delivering open, scalable platforms and services that any company, whether startup or the most established global enterprises, can use to create new value, right now.
The "right now" part is an interesting choice of words because most companies tend to move slowly with new technology. But, Microsoft is hoping to push them there faster because they too have big dollar signs in their eyes just like AWS.
For Salesforce of course, it's a different matter. It sees all the data coming in from the IoT world (and even some areas that are outside that realm) as part of the goal of serving the customer better. The more data you have, the theory goes, the better you can understand the needs of your customer and anticipate issues before they happen.
As with the infrastructure providers, there is a huge gap between what organizations want to do and what their current set of tools enables them to do. The cloud vendors see the huge opportunity that the Internet of Things offers, and they are more than happy to serve up a set of tools to get you started.
But it's also worth remembering that we are very early with this tech, and these companies are trying to get the first foot in the door because of just how lucrative this could be.
Photo Credit: Betsy Weber on Flickr. Used under CC 2.0 license.