March 6, 2024

In this blog, ClearBlade CTO Aaron Allsbrook revisits how companies can take a stand against chaos to protect their critical infrastructure and shares the state of IoT software in 2024.

In 2022 we were hit by a barrage of IoT service cancellation plans. Clear and straightforward messaging from the likes of IBM, SAP, Google, and others who honestly told their customers they needed to find a new IoT strategy to support their critical infrastructure. These industry leaders openly stepped back from the complexities of IoT. Throughout 2023 we were forced to watch users go through the chaos of replatforming critical parts of the business. It wasn’t easy but the good news is many successfully charted a path to vendors like ClearBlade who have been and will be dedicated to only IoT. In retrospect, at least there was clarity.

Now for the bad news

In 2024 AI is now the buzz term to show investment during quarterly reports. Consequently, the rumors of major software vendors shutting down their IoT offerings are starting to run wild.  Mass layoffs, accidental product announcements, divestitures, and business unit spinouts lend these rumors credibility. At first blush, the messaging is less scary, but it’s just the beginning of rescinding all of the sales cycle promises of delivering IoT capabilities. As these promises evaporate, chaos is once again on the horizon for users.

Why is this happening?

The Amazon shopping effect on critical and highly complex infrastructure. With online shopping, I can quickly order kitchen goods, sports equipment, or new phone chargers at rock-bottom prices. This giant low-cost marketplace works well for fungible items. Unfortunately, the same-styled marketplace for highly specific, critical infrastructure isn’t working. One provider cannot simply be replaced by another like a v-neck t-shirt in my closet. Low-level firmware written many years ago creates a strong lock-in. On the vendor side, these low-priced offerings can quickly be axed by the software giants when the revenues don’t match their investments. It takes a huge amount of upfront development and constant maintenance to get a low-cost simple service up and running.

What can we expect?

While the migrations in 2022-2023 were dramatic, there were shared paths to move forward. Together victims were able to collaborate and make complementary decisions that helped everyone along the journey. This year we don’t have clarity and we aren’t exactly sure if we can trust the current configurations to monitor our factories, automate our businesses, or track our fleets. Running through our minds are crucial questions like:

  • Will the part of the service I need still exist?
  • Will it be divested to a low-reliability vendor?
  • Will my pricing structures be changed?
  • Who do I call for support?
  • Will my data run in another country?
  • Will any innovation happen?

One or two of the existing vendors will likely offer a 2.0 version of their services that demands we once again validate their capabilities and rate them high in a quadrant. It’s unclear to me how the same leadership that failed to sponsor the previous manifestations will have staying power next time.

What are my options?

In 2022 I offered some opinions on what to do next and I believe they are still valid and summarized below:

  • Ground up –  Become an absolute expert on all the layers of IoT solutions and build the skills to manage your own scaled architecture.
  • Another cloud – This is a dwindling set of options and is now flying directly in the face of current trends of service shutdowns or supporting multi-cloud.
  • Integration partnering – In reality, this is just shuffling your challenge to someone else to decide. Your SI will then select an architecture comprised of vendored or open-source software. Their expertise will be much needed, but be ready to own the new solution you pay them to build.
  • Trust in ClearBlade – ClearBlade focuses specifically on IoT and has already taken on the challenge of running the IoT stack for hundreds of companies. We are constantly innovating to deliver the latest in performance, AI, and standards while helping you drive higher returns.

Where to go from here?

At ClearBlade we face similar decisions to build, outsource, or buy for ourselves. We acquire things like SDLC tools, databases, and cloud computing. On the other hand, we build things like message brokers and protocol converters as they are key to our business differentiators. For many, an IoT software provider should weigh high on your choices. When evaluating I look for flexibility.

  1. Can I run this software on my own or let someone manage it?
  2. Can it replace and even automatically migrate from what I am using today?
  3. Is the vendor focused on solving the problem I need help with?
  4. Is there a proven ecosystem – not just pilot case studies?
  5. Is this software known to scale and not just offer lots of check marks on a functional matrix?

Trust in ClearBlade to Defend Your Critical Infrastructure

If you are tired of not succeeding and want to remove the chaos in your business, buy and integrate with proven software from ClearBlade. De-risk the evolution of your business goals with a software company that has over 300 successful customers around the world, across a multitude of industries. We pride ourselves in being flexible enough to match your current workflow and scalable enough to handle your current and future workloads … while constantly bringing you the latest innovations.

Grab 30 minutes with us to learn more.



King Kong Stock photos by Vecteezy

Schedule A 30 Minute Demo