IBM Invests £2bn In Expanding Its Internet Of Things

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New IoT unit will look to maximise the value of the mountains of real-time data being produced every day

IBM has announced a major expansion of its Internet of Things (IoT) business as it looks to play a bigger role in helping organisations better interact with the world around them.

The computing giant is pledging $3 billion (£2bn) over the next four years in building up a new IoT unit that is able to deal with the increasingly huge amounts of data being produced every day.

The company is also building a cloud-based open platform designed to help clients and ecosystem partners build IoT solutions.

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IBM estimates that 90 percent of all data generated by devices such as smartphones, tablets, connected vehicles and appliances is never analysed or acted on. It also estimates that 60 percent of this data begins to lose value within milliseconds of being generated.

So in order to better harness this information, the company’s new unit, headed up by former IBM CIO Pat Toole, will look to maximise the value of data, offering a range new industry-specific cloud data services and developer tools on an open platform.

Included in the new units is Bluemix IoT platform as a service, which will allow developers to create and deploy applications for asset tracking, facilities management and engineering tools.

Expanding ecosystem

IBM is also expanding its range of IoT ecosystem partners, which now number companies from silicon and device manufacturers to industry-oriented solution providers, including big names such as AT&T, ARM, Semtech and its latest partner, The Weather Company.

“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. This is a major focus of investment for IBM because it’s a rich and broad-based opportunity where innovation matters.”

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series from IBM as it looks to transform its business to better cope with the changing technology sector.

Company CEO Gini Rometty recently told investors that 2014 was a “critical year of transformation” and that much work is yet to be done in transforming IBM.

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