Report: M2M market poised for biggest transformation ever

The M2M market is on the brink of the biggest transformation in its 10-year history, according to a new report from market-research company Maravedis-Rethink.

“M2M and Cloud as the Foundation for the Internet of Things” says the M2M market will shift from vertically focused and often incompatible solutions to platforms and standards that can be used across many sectors. That, in turn, will lay the foundation for the so-called ‘Internet of Things’, which is 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.

“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, in a press release. Maravedis-Rethink says the use of the cloud will help to address many of the biggest challenges to mass-market M2M adoption, which it identifies in a survey of the M2M ecosystem as part of the report.

The move to the cloud will affect the M2M sector in many ways, according to Maravedis-Rethink, but mainly by reducing deployment costs and making it easier to scale up. By unlocking data “trapped” in vertical silos and exposing M2M systems to applications such as Facebook, the cloud will give rise to new applications and services.

“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. The cloud can slash that to a third or less," added Lesieur.

Among the report’s other key findings are that most systems will rely on 4G networks, even though some wireless operators will keep 2G and 3G networks running to support M2M.

Maravedis-Rethink also reckons that the utilities and energy sector, the automotive and telematics sector and the transport and logistics sector will be the three verticals that benefit most from cloud-based M2M.

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