In my last blog I talked about the benefits of an ecosystem, I talked about the way that working together can do more than create innovation, it can look at leveraging the best of a range of partners and sized organisations.  I’m going to talk now about how to go about building an ecosystem. A great way to do this is to utilise niche, innovative or specialist solutions from emerging Small-Medium Enterprises (SME’s), and bring them into a solution effectively so they can all succeed together.

The ubiquity of connectivity and development of cheaper, more entry level sensors, has led to a strong start up community in the Internet of Things (IoT) space.  Innovators looking at niche products to address current market challenges are taking advantage of numerous funding opportunities available to disrupt the market.

Larger companies are currently investing in start-ups, Cisco recently announced a $1bn investment in UK IoT start-ups.  It’s not just the amount of ideas and innovation within start up’s that is attractive to larger companies.  Small to medium enterprises (SME’s) provide a level of agility and flexibility that large companies often struggle with, and as such tend to succeed or fail much faster within a market, and occupy small early adopter niches with a great deal of success.

At CGI, we have invested in our SME Accelerate programme, which we use to not only find out about new exciting small and medium sized businesses, but collaborate with them to bring our customers, innovative niche solutions that can scale and they can trust.

However, its  not just small companies who are needed in the IoT space, there is also a need to work with larger companies with the cloud computing power and processing capability needed to handle the level of data required within an transformational IoT solution to meet the near real time requirements.  We are working with Microsoft to leverage Azure as well as other organisations like CISCO, for their Edge Computing solution.   Larger companies also bring the benefit of being able to scale as both IoT use cases grow and the businesses we work with do too.

Whilst understanding that working with SME’s and larger organisations brings value, the need is still apparent for an Integrator to bring this world together in a seamless manner to give a unified solution that you can work with your wider business and operational systems.   This blend of new and legacy not only allows you to tap into value created by the emerging technologies, but also to create new value from your existing system, which I’ll talk about more in my next blog.

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Please check out HYPERCAT - a 500+ strong UK IoT Ecosystem in action www.hypercat.io

Submitted by Tom Brookes on 5 December 2016

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