The role of Systems Integrators – Do they guide industrial IoT success?


It is predicted that the worldwide IoT (Internet of Things) market is all set to grow from $1.3 trillion in 2013 to $3.04 trillion in 2020. Companies and individuals working in the IoT space are looking forward very optimistically to large numbers in connected devices, huge IoT volumes and fat revenues by the year 2020.

The question that is in many people’s minds, in this business environment, is how do System Integrators – big ones like Accenture, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, or  Capgemini , or the smaller ones which are segment specific – fit into the IoT picture.

What is a Systems Integrator?

What is a Systems Integrator? It could be an individual or a company that builds computing systems for clients by combining hardware and software products from multiple vendors. By using a systems integrator, a business can use less expensive, pre-configured, standardized software to meet business goals and objectives instead to customized programs, software or even new components that will undoubtedly push up costs. These systems may involve designing specialized application that will integrate with the existing or maybe new hardware, software and communications infrastructure.

Given the projected growth of the IoT market, system integrators have to work with clients as also with vendors – they act as the interface between these two entities and by adopting IoT strategies now, they can take ownership of their role and leadership in the field.

Have to change and adapt rapidly

As the IoT space evolves and transforms, system integrators also have to change and adapt rapidly to the revolution in the IoT space. The number of machines and devices connected to the IoT is surging forward but the software for integrating these products is growing at a slower rate.

Today there is hardly any segment in any industry that does not use IoT solutions – be it manufacturing, retail, healthcare, utilities, transportation, logistics, governments or even consumers and customers. Each segment-industry vector has different IoT requirements. Each application has specific needs. Clients or the users of these solutions have a problem finding the correct vendor who can provide them with a solution for all their IoT needs. Similarly IoT vendors have a problem identifying and finding clients who they can engage effectively and work with to provide solutions in different segments.

Taken over by the Operations part of the business

Traditionally purchasers of IoT solutions have been the IT people. But today this function is being taken over by the Operations part of the business which has had no exposure to IoT and have never integrated their data with the entire system. They do not know who the vendors may be.  The vendors on the other hand do not have in-depth knowledge of the business they are selling solutions to. In addition no one vendor can provide all the IoT solutions businesses are looking for.

This is where the System Integrator can and does step in. They have prior relationship with the Operations side of the business so they are in sync with the company’s needs and requirements. They liaise with a multitude of vendors and integrate the solutions to solve and resolve client issues. They bridge the gap between vendors and users and the faster and more efficient their systems, the quicker will be the revenue inflow for them and their clients.