Shakeup of the vendor landscape and new initiatives around open-source-based industrial IoT platforms
Open-source-based industrial IoT platforms have a clear focus on leveraging open-source technologies for large-scale IoT deployments across industrial, mobile, and other enterprise-related use cases. As the market for IoT platforms is maturing, we observe that open-source-based industrial IoT becomes a relevant alternative in the market. Eurotech became the market- leading vendor in this space in 2022. The main change we’ve noticed in the current vendor landscape is the fact that, with Bosch.IO, another leading vendor has left the market through the back door. Bosch repositioned its Bosch.IO subsidiary and excluded it from doing independent external business. According to the Bosch 2021 annual report, Bosch.IO will exclusively focus on supporting the various Bosch business units in their go-to-market around the topic of AIoT (Analytics & IoT).
In general, we see two different forms of IoT-related open-source communities in the market. On the one hand, there are developer communities that are dominated by one single vendor and interact via developer platforms such as GitHub. Not many vendors are commercially successful with this open-source approach. Some vendors still exist, such as DeviceHive, DGLogik, SiteWhere, and Thinger.io, but they are hardly making any progress nowadays. We therefore no longer consider them as relevant vendors. The most positive example in this context is ThingsBoard. Some other vendors, such as Kaa and Mainflux, have shown limited progress on GitHub, and we doubt that these platforms will survive. While we acknowledge the shakeout of weaker vendors in the market, we also included some newly emerging vendors in 2022, such as UMH Systems, OpenRemote, and Kuzzle. However, all of them have shown limited traction in the market so far.
On the other hand, there are open-source communities that follow the strict guidelines and governance frameworks of open-source foundations such as Linux, Apache, and Eclipse. These foundations ensure that no single party can control the strategy, policies, and operation of projects. PAC prefers the open-source model led by foundations. This gives user companies more transparency and options to participate and therefore generates more trust in future advancement. While there are two IoT-related communities under the umbrella of the Linux Foundation, the IoT Edge Working Group (focused on Kubernetes) and LF Edge (focused on edge computing), we believe that the Eclipse Foundation, with the Eclipse IoT Working Group, is the leading open-source community in the IoT space today. While the Eclipse project started 20 years ago, the IoT Working Group can look back on as many as 10 years of progress. No other community is driving more open-source-based IoT projects (a portfolio of 45+ projects) simultaneously. Eurotech is one key player in this community. Equally interesting is the fact that the Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) working group, which was launched at the end of 2021, has been gaining traction in the market. In June 2022, CARIAD, the software-centric Volkswagen subsidiary, announced it was joining the Eclipse Foundation and becoming a strategic member of the SDV working group. CARIAD will participate in open-source projects and provide individual components of its car operating system (VW.OS) and its automotive cloud (VW.AC) as open-source software. Volkswagen's intention is to accelerate innovation and set standards for software-defined cars together with the Eclipse Foundation community. As Bosch is one of the founding members of the SDV working group, it is obvious to us that the above-mentioned repositioning of Bosch.IO does not represent a strategic shift away from open-source-based IoT, but rather a shift in Bosch’s go-to-market approach.
If you are interested in more details, we recommend having a look at our recent PAC RADAR report on this topic.