Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

IBM looks to ease IoT app requirements with open cloud

Iain Morris
May 15, 2014
IBM recently announced that it was greatly expanding its BlueMix PaaS offering to help developers use cloud services, and now the company says that it has added capabilities that could benefit companies looking to deploy IoT/M2M solutions.

Since its expanded, open, beta launch several weeks ago – based on IBM’s (Armonk, NY, USA) middleware and third-party technologies – the company claims there has been quick uptake on BlueMix from both web-only and enterprise developers looking to deploy embedded devices.

“We have been able to effectively reduce the amount of time needed to build new apps for sensors and connected microprocessors to communicate from the field from weeks or months to a matter of hours, in some cases,” says Mike Curry, the company’s VP for Websphere product management, which includes BlueMix.

The cloud service naturally cuts costs associated with monthly server maintenance, and comes complete with services for device connectivity and data analytics, including geospatial, time series, predictive scoring and reporting.
The company believes that the introduction of open-standards PaaS like BlueMix will fundamentally change the personnel requirements needed for IoT/M2M deployments.

“We definitely believe that these technologies will reduce the need for embedded engineers in an IoT rollout,” says Curry. “We’re seeing a new kind of programmer – one that is more mobile- and web-based, and with only basic Java or Javascript skills. The tools will do most of the work for them.”

To further this development, IBM has also announced two programs aimed at assisting developers, including its BlueInsight, a cloud-based collaborative environment designed to give business users access to data analytics, and its BlueMix Garage, which is a physical space for developers to collaborate with IBM experts.

The first of the BlueMix Garage sites will be located in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood – said to be home more startups per square meter than any other location in the world.

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