Yesterday Amazon introduced its IoT services for AWS. Bravo! Kodus to Andy Jassy and AWS leadership to identify the opportunity and responding timely with a decent product. Other cloud services may start catching up in a couple of years when they realized they missed the boat.
Four years ago, I worked for a company which was a world leader in control systems. For many of us IoT is a new concept, but it is just commoditization of control systems. There is no new concept in IoT. At the time I predicted that IoT will disrupt the control system market (I was laughed at). A market full of PLCs and Industrial computers with ridiculous programming languages and terrible data analysis products. It was obvious to me that Arduino’s and IoT will one day consume this lucrative market. I even wrote a report for my Surviving Disruptive Technology course I took at Coursera. This hasn’t happened yet but it will, sooner or later. My prediction is that it takes a few years for Amazons of the world to provide sensor network tools that are orders of magnitude nicer, and more powerful than their old sluggish enterprise counterparts. The only thing that keeps the old enterprise in place is the ability to talk to industrial motors and high voltage, three phase systems plus the complex sales structure of enterprise, yet it won’t be long before someone cracks this code too and the open IoT floods the enterprise and with it takes out a lot of legacy businesses.
In 2012, I created an IoT cloud service prototype, with similar features like the Amazon’s IoT service launched yesterday and a grand vision on analytics, I started to pitch the idea all the way from CTO to my direct management. I gave a demo to the CTO (and everybody else down the leadership ladder) and showed how these distributed sensors can communicate in real-time securely and how such platform unleashes the potential for machine learning and analytics. It was well received on the top but at the bottom, it got stuck with the mid-level management. They decided that we should pursue the idea but there were endless meetings with sparse timing and eventually no decision was made until I left there to work at Microsoft. Maybe if I was a lot more patient we would have built an IoT platform before Amazon. Same old story about large traditional corporates (I encourage you to read about the Kodak downfall and take the Coursera course, it is a very interesting contemporary tale). I wanted to build this platform which I called Wombat, as an open-source project but at the time my afternoons and weekends were busy with writing my thesis and journal papers.
I am glad that that Amazon is doing this eventually and I am sure they will kill it! Go Amazon!
P.S. Here is the link to my presentation deck I used those days to pitch my idea. If it helped you in anyway let me know.