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Buzzword vs. Business at IDC IoT Forum

IoT is about to slip over the edge of its own hype. Fortunately, that means less people just talking about it and more people acting upon it. Most of the action in IoT is likely to revolve around standardization, security, privacy and, last but definitely not least, finding new use cases. Or at least that is, in a nutshell, what last week's IDC IoT Forum in Prague was all about.

According to IDC, the most common IoT use cases in the Czech Republic are cargo tracking in freight transport, solutions for operations in manufacturing, management of manufacturing facilities and home security. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Insurers already use sensors and gamification to get insights into their customers' driving style. Local administrations are looking into opportunities to make cities smarter. Simultaneously, security experts are striving to make connectivity safe through big data based analyses and predictions on the backend, and through security gateways on the device end. For techies, however, that is not new intel.

These topics have been around for a while in the tech circles, but there was one novel takeaway from the conference. Finally, large incumbents are realizing that generating use cases and creating new markets is difficult for them in an ever changing environment. That creates space for cooperation with smaller, more agile businesses. Yes, we're talking startups.

Startups were present at last year's IoT Forum as well. But their presence was mostly for show. Corporate attendees walked around startup stands and examined them from the "other side of the table". Fast forward to 2016 and you see startups sharing stands with their corporate counterparts - strategic partners, distributors. Even better, nobody actually refered to them as startups! Sewio was reaching out to new customers through a partnership with Dimension Data, Altron, leading Czech Data Center operator, announced cooperation with NeuronSW, Ice Gateway shared space with Atos and TeskaLabs presented their mobile security solutions. All these companies attended as potential business partners for large corporate customers. And that is exactly the label that B2B startups need.

photo credit IDC CEMA

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