Research firm Gartner has positioned Microsoft as a Leader in the 2020 Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT Platforms. Microsoft enables organizations to develop their own IoT solutions with Microsoft Azure platform services such as Microsoft Azure IoT Hub, Microsoft Azure Cosmos DB, Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, or Microsoft Azure Time Series Insights, or purchase IoT solutions directly from Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
“Microsoft demonstrates consistent development and solution accelerators, specifically for industrial enterprises,” Gartner mentioned in its report. Gartner mentioned the following as strengths and cautions of Microsoft’s IIoT solution.
- Microsoft has customers with production deployments that span core operations, supply chain and industrial field deployments for manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and utilities.
- Customers are very positive relating to Microsoft’s approach to security for IIoT. Azure Sphere enhances device security to protect from cybersecurity and device encryption.
- Microsoft has a large, diverse partner ecosystem for both technology platforms and indirect sell-through partners.
- Microsoft has broad visibility in the market based on the frequency with which the company appears in buyers’ evaluations for IIoT platforms.
- Emerging Azure IoT Edge modules may be challenging to manage as both first party and third party mature through the development life cycle.
- While Microsoft’s horizontal IoT technology can functionally support most customers’ IoT requirements, most customers need or prefer to have Microsoft partners to act as intermediaries for solution planning and feature engineering. Customers feel this helps them leverage Microsoft technologies into end-to-end IoT solutions.
- To extract data from some OT systems, industrial equipment may need third-party protocol software or Edge modules to integrate into Azure IoT.
- The Azure portal has a highly customizable UI, but plug-ins or third-party modules may need to be leveraged to track service performance, utilization and health all in one page.