When it comes to the Internet of Things, systems integrators specialize in bringing together component systems as a whole and making sure those systems are integrated properly and function together. This is important for enterprises that need complex IoT solutions to be combined with their legacy systems – such as a manufacturing floor.
As systems integrators become recognized as being able able to "fill the gap" in targeted verticals, the sky is the limit for their business, according to a study from market research firm ABI Research.
IoT systems integration and consulting revenue is poised to increase from $17 billion in 2017 to $35.7 billion in 2022, as enterprises realize that systems integrators can take on essential client-facing roles with vertical market expertise.
"SIs have a deep knowledge not only of enterprise pain points and issues, but also of specific applications and the business as a whole," said Ryan Harbison, research analyst at ABI Research, in a statement. "Enterprises looking to develop IoT solutions may not contact hardware or software vendors and instead rely on the advice of a SI to navigate the marketplace to find solution components that deliver a full solution."
Systems integrators have critical skill sets for helping enterprises navigate IoT projects, including the integration of legacy systems into end-to-end solutions, as well as their knowledge of the IoT landscape and players in the market.
Maxence Cacheux, senior vice president of sales and business development at Mobiliya, a Dallas-based systems integrator, said the company is seeing "a lot of demand for consulting and quick proof-of-concept development."
"We are bringing to the table some of our niche capabilities in system integration and security," Cacheux told CRN. "IoT involves variety of endpoints with different makes and models, operating systems and protocols. There are different cloud platforms, different end-user applications. Integrating all these while ensuring security of the ecosystem is something very important, and that is where Mobiliya comes in."
Vendors also are pushing to include more systems integrators in their go-to-market IoT sales strategy, as they seek partners that can leverage a wide range of connections when putting together an IoT solution.
That's what pushed Davra Networks, a Dublin-based IoT application enablement company, to drive more relationships with systems integrators as the company looked to expand its RuBAN IoT platform into more niche vertical markets.
"We believe smaller SIs have a crucial role, too, as often they have extremely close relationships with their customers," said Davra Networks co-founder and COO Brian McGlynn. "Davra is a leading IIoT platform company and we have built our entire business model around helping system integrators and resellers build out their IIoT practice on our platform. This model has proved massively successful for us and our partners."
According to ABI, global systems integrators such as Accenture have stayed ahead of the IoT curve through focusing on customer demand for connected solutions, and having a deeper understanding of "enterprise digital transformation and technology convergence."
"End users are less concerned with the features of a various device or software platform and are more concerned with how their IoT solutions work as a whole to truly become a system of systems," said Harbison in a statement. "Moving forward, it's crucial for software and hardware providers to develop deep relationships with a range of SIs that provide vertical-specific solutions to end-users."