A Maravedis-Rethink report titled “M2M and Cloud as the Foundation for the Internet of Things” says, based on a latest study and numerous discussions, the general consensus is that the M2M market is at a key inflection point for supporting mass market adoption, while providing the foundation for the broader concept of the Internet of Things (or Internet of Everything, as some call it).

The machine-to-machine market is poised for the biggest transformation in its 10-year history, says a release on the report. The phenomenon, in the next three years, would be driven by the M2M market shifting from vertically focused and often incompatible solutions to platforms and standards that can be used across many sectors. This, in turn, will lay the foundation for the Internet of Things, expected to be one of the biggest growth drivers for the device supply chain and for service providers in the second half of this decade, the release explains.
The move to the cloud will impact many aspects of the M2M sector, but will have the greatest effect on the two critical areas of cost to deploy and ability to scale. By unlocking data ‘trapped’ in vertical silos and exposing M2M systems to applications such as Facebook, innovative applications and services will be enabled.

The top three verticals expected to benefit most from cloud-based M2M are utilities/energy, automotive/telematics, and transport/logistics.

Wireless carriers are eager to take a key role in the ‘Internet of Things,’ but for the dilemmas over spectrum. Some operators will keep 3G or even 2G networks running to support M2M, but most systems will [eventually] rely on 4G gateways, the report notes.

“The key catalyst for this change will be adoption of cloud-based approaches for M2M applications,” the release quotes Bill Lesieur, Cloud Analyst and author of the report, “That will help address many of the biggest challenges to mass market M2M adoption, as identified in a unique survey of the M2M ecosystem carried out by Maravedis-Rethink.”

How has the cloud dramatically reduced the cost and time to get pilot programs up and running in order to establish organizational support and maintain interest in M2M initiatives? “Based on discussions with vendors and end user customers, large enterprise M2M projects historically have taken two to three years to complete and often at least $25 million in IT infrastructure investment. Cloud can slash that to a third or less,” adds Lesieur.

According to Maravedis-Rethink, the study is a result of phone and in-person interviews and online surveys with M2M buyers, suppliers, vendors, integrators, and investors worldwide.  
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