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Microsoft Azure and AWS "clear leaders" in IoT device onboarding, lifecycle management

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This is according to a new competitive assessment by ABI Research.

The resesarch house says it examined services offered by ten IoT players regarding certain technological criteria*. They include IoT onboarding and lifecycle management, and ABI Research also ranks secure updates and  firmware-over-the-air (FOTA), trusted device identity, intelligence, and automation options.

These three criteria and their sub-elements were identified as the most vital for the evolution of IoT in a scalable and secure manner, and for the sustainable monetisation of IoT security in the evolving market .

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

ABI found that Microsoft Azure and AWS are winning the battle at the core of IoT deployments and enjoying the lion’s share of cloud.

Device identity

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

“Understanding the intricacies of the market is key,” Dimitrios Pavlakis, Senior Analyst of IoT and Digital Security at ABI Research. “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.

"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.”

ABI says that market evaluation for secure IoT management is challenging but necessary, while IoT onboarding and lifecycle management is an instance where secure FOTA, automation and trust device identity can be the great equalisers.

Combined power

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

Organisations must revisit their strategy to monetise IoT security and align with the constantly shifting pieces of device management pieces before going to market.

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

These findings are from ABI Research’s IoT Device Onboard and Lifecycle Management Competitive Ranking report.

*A total of 12 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.

They 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 monetization, on top of the aforementioned FOTA, automation, and trusted ID.