The 17 Biggest News Stories Of 2017

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4. IT Vendors, Startups And Solution Providers Rush To Position Themselves For The IoT Goldrush

The global Internet of Things market is forecast to explode to $457 billion by 2020, led by applications in smart cities, industrial IoT and connected health, according to GrowthEnabler. What's more, a report from International Data Corp. concluded the real value of IoT lies in the software and services needed to capture, analyze and act on the data generated by IoT systems – the kind of software and services offered by solution providers.

So it's no surprise that in 2017 IT vendors and solution providers scrambled to position themselves in the nascent IoT arena. Among the leaders was Intel, which debuted IoT platforms for the retail industry in January – along with a pledge of a five-year, $100-million investment – and the shipping and logistics industries in May. In October Intel launched a service to help customers install IoT devices more quickly and securely. But Intel's biggest move was its deal in March to acquire Mobileye, a developer of components for connected cars, for a whopping $15.3 billion.

Intel wasn't alone. Cisco debuted the IoT Operations Platform to help partners and customers deploy IoT solutions. Hewlett Packard Enterprise unveiled the HPE Edgeline Services Platform for managing and controlling industrial connected systems and networks, including IoT devices. Dell Technologies launched an IoT division to develop IoT products and an IoT partner program. Amazon Web Services, was particularly active, launching its Greengrass software for linking IoT "edge" devices to the AWS cloud and adding new security, analytics and management capabilities to its AWS IoT Core platform.

The potential of the IoT market also fueled a wave of startups offering everything from IoT security (Armis), to industrial IoT technology (IoTium and Foghorn Systems), to web-connected sensors (Samsara). And IoT startups, especially in IoT security, received generous amounts of funding from venture capital firms in 2017.

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