IBM announces $3bn investment in Internet of Things division

IBM has announced that it is going to make a major investment over the next four years as we run up to 2020, with $3 billion (£2 billion) being earmarked for a new Internet of Things unit.

IBM says that Pat Toole will be General Manager of the division which will build a cloud-based open platform, designed to help IBM’s enterprise customers and partners make sense of IoT data, and glean insights as big data gets bigger still thanks to the outpouring of information which will come forth as IoT device numbers continue to expand.

IBM also hopes that the unit will enable manufacturers to produce connected devices that are better optimised and tailored for the IoT.

The company noted that 90 per cent of all data generated by devices such as mobiles, tablets, and connected appliances and cars is never analysed or benefited from, and it aims to change this picture.

Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics, commented: “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. 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.”

IBM will offer the IoT Cloud Open Platform for Industries, which will deliver new analytics services that clients can use to construct vertical industry IoT solutions – so for instance, IBM notes it will develop a cloud-based service to help insurance companies obtain data from connected vehicles, in order to better price premiums.

It will also provide the Bluemix IoT Zone, with new services to allow devs to integrate data drawn from the IoT into cloud-based development, and enrich their existing business apps with real-time data and analysis.

IBM also said it will expand its IoT ecosystem and partners, including a fresh strategic alliance with The Weather Company, with both companies aiming to put their heads together to help various organisations understand the impact of the weather on business outcomes.