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2023 Internet Of Things 50: A Growth Engine For The Channel

Dylan Martin

To help the channel navigate the ever-changing environment as IoT continues to be a growth engine for the channel, CRN has rounded up the 50 coolest IoT companies of the year.

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The door is wide open for the channel to build solutions for IoT applications covering important aspects like connectivity, hardware, industrial IoT, security and software. But the challenge is knowing which vendors to place their bets on. To help the channel navigate the ever-changing environment as IoT continues to be a growth engine for the channel, CRN has rounded up the 50 coolest IoT companies of the year in each of those categories.

When it comes to connecting IoT devices, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, and that is reflected in the wide array of connectivity offerings available on the market.

Some vendors continue to focus on building new capabilities for connecting and managing IoT devices on cellular networks, whether that’s purpose-built networks like NB-IoT or 5G, which is enabling unprecedented connection speeds and device density.

At the same time, other vendors are working on offerings around wireless technologies like Wi-Fi and LoRaWAN, and there’s also a growing push for satellite-based connectivity.

Meanwhile, without innovation in hardware, the world of IoT would be quite stale.

Thankfully, there are plenty of vendors working on new chips, systems and other hardware that are pushing IoT forward in critical areas like processing power, connectivity and sensors.

When it comes to industrial IoT, consulting firm Bain & Company reported in the fall that the low-hanging fruit of industrial IoT has been harvested.

The vendors making a difference in industrial IoT need to focus on interoperability, integrated IT and operational technology, technical expertise in artificial intelligence algorithms and data science.

The Bain industrial IoT report included survey results that showed the number of organizations implementing proofs of concept grew 20 percent from 2018 to 2022. The number is expected to grow another 20 percent by 2026, and survey respondents reported cost reductions and revenue increases of up to 40 percent.

Meanwhile, the need for better IoT security capabilities is greater than ever before, and that isn’t expected to change any time soon.

This ongoing necessity to monitor and protect against threats to a wide range of connected devices was recently underlined by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, which said in December that the country’s 16 critical infrastructure sectors “face increasing cybersecurity threats.”

It’s not just individual agencies that see the problem. In early March, the Biden administration called for a greater focus on developing secure IoT devices as part of its new National Cybersecurity Strategy, building on previous legislation and other government efforts addressing the issue.

“Too often they have been deployed with inadequate default settings, can be difficult or impossible to patch or upgrade, or come equipped with advanced—and sometimes unnecessary—capabilities that enable malicious cyber activities on critical physical and digital systems,” the White House said in its strategy outline. “Recent IoT vulnerabilities have shown just how easily bad actors can exploit these devices to construct botnets and conduct surveillance.”

Meanwhile, the companies authoring software to push the boundaries of IoT range from tech giants like Microsoft down to startups like Memfault.

A Forrester report from September said that software automation using IoT sensors and measuring maintenance schedules, customer demand, weather and other data will “offer manufacturers more granular control over their business.”

Businesses are turning to IoT software to reduce energy bills, monitor work sites for noxious gases and injuries, and to improve production quality, among other use cases, according to the report.

“Machine learning and AI build models of optimal operations (often in the cloud) and then monitor tens, hundreds, or even thousands of variables at the edge to quickly alert human operators when things are likely to stray off course,” according to the report. “In some situations, software may be authorized to make corrections without waiting for explicit permission from a watching human.”

The 10 Coolest IoT Connectivity Companies

As part of CRN’s 2023 Internet Of Things 50 list, here are the 10 coolest IoT connectivity companies of 2023 that are offering innovative connectivity options to help IoT devices connect to networks, communicate, and share their valuable data to various business systems.

The 10 Coolest IoT Hardware Companies

There are plenty of vendors working on new chips, systems and other hardware that are pushing IoT forward in critical areas like processing power, connectivity and sensors.

The 10 Coolest Industrial IoT Companies

As part of CRN’s 2023 Internet of Things 50 list, here are 10 hot IIoT companies this year that are driving innovation.

The 10 Coolest IoT Security Companies

As part of CRN’s 2023 Internet of Things 50 list, here’s a look at the tools and vendors leading the way in IoT security.

The 10 Coolest IoT Software Companies

As part of CRN’s 2023 Internet of Things 50 list, here are the 10 coolest IoT software companies that are driving innovation in the IoT arena.

´╗┐Additional reporting by Wade Tyler Millward

Dylan Martin

Dylan Martin is a senior editor at CRN covering the semiconductor, PC, mobile device, and IoT beats. He has distinguished his coverage of the semiconductor industry thanks to insightful interviews with CEOs and top executives; scoops and exclusives about product, strategy and personnel changes; and analyses that dig into the why behind the news.   He can be reached at dmartin@thechannelcompany.com.

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