As industrial Internet of Things (IoT) matures and transforms critical business functions, Microsoft continues to innovate and invest in this area and engage with a large ecosystem of solution partners.
The Microsoft Azure IoT platform can help industries improve their operations to become more efficient, agile, and sustainable. Industrial-focused IoT technologies from Microsoft are especially important for enterprises looking to do more with less in the current macro-economic environment.
We’re focused on enabling industrial IoT solution providers and customer operations to be successful, and those efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. For the third year in a row, Gartner has positioned Microsoft as a leader in the 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Global Industrial IoT Platforms.
Leading the way in industrial IoT
In naming Microsoft as an IoT leader, Gartner cites our customer success, our technical strengths in security and manageability, and our focus on supporting end-to-end solutions, as well as our support for our ecosystem of partners. With a long history stretching to the early days of IoT technology, Microsoft remains committed to providing the evolving infrastructure that companies need to excel with IoT deployments. Our IoT technology is embedded in everything from inspecting vehicle build quality, to monitoring and shifting energy across utility grids, to recycling surplus manufacturing materials.
To continue leading on IoT technology and applications, we’re especially focused on supporting key areas that customers are prioritizing:
IT/OT convergence: Digital transformation in the industrial sector is increasingly bringing together IT—systems to collect and analyze data to manage processes—with operational technology (OT), which is dedicated to detecting and controlling physical processes. This IT/OT convergence allows for more direct and real-time monitoring, analysis, and control of industrial processes and enables increased automation, faster responses to challenges, and shifts in manufacturing or production rates. With Microsoft Azure IoT, operators can move toward this convergence with system openness and visibility, as well as security.
Cloud and on-site innovations: Microsoft Azure IoT provides a holistic approach to maintaining and securing digital infrastructure, handling and controlling data, and managing apps and databases no matter where they are. From high-performance computing in the cloud to edge and on-premises equipment, Azure can govern and help to secure servers, Kubernetes clusters, and apps with tools such as Azure Arc, Azure private multi-access edge compute (MEC), and Azure Stack HCI. They can provide consistent, fast, and seamless performance for scalable IoT systems spread across multi-cloud and on-premises locations.
Using digital twins and the metaverse: As IT/OT convergence continues, the ability to use digital replicas and virtual environments to evaluate or control machinery or simulate factory floor environments becomes more useful. Azure Digital Twins uses IoT spatial intelligence to create accurate models of processes or physical things. This lets operators test the effects of new production line configurations, new processes, and modifications to machinery without disrupting physical world operations. Immersive metaverse technology allows employees to virtually perform maintenance procedures or train for operating new industrial equipment before touching any physical assets. This is safer for employees and creates fewer production disruptions.
Security advancements: With IoT workloads moving between multiple clouds and on-premises environments with more flexibility than ever before, security is also more important than ever. This is especially critical with industrial IoT, where compromising critical systems could have serious consequences. The zero-trust security measures built into Azure are extensive and robust to secure cloud-based applications and data. With Azure Arc, customers can extend the familiar security controls of Azure to companies’ on-premises and edge infrastructures. Additionally, many of our solutions partners offer additional security as part of their offerings.
Collaborating with partners: The strength of Microsoft Azure IoT offerings lies in our partner ecosystem, which includes hundreds of systems integrators, independent software vendors, and device partners. These partners offer solution choices for a wide range of industries, including many industrial-related solutions. We work to give their solutions visibility to our customers to help match solutions with needs to address emerging challenges.
Shaping the future of IoT
We’re pleased that Gartner once again has recognized us as a Leader in Global IoT platforms with their Magic Quadrant recognition. As IoT applications continue to grow, more organizations are connecting their physical operations to the digital world to gain insights, optimize performance, and work toward sustainability. We continue to invest and evolve our broad Azure IoT platform, including our industrial IoT technologies, to help customers to accelerate their time to value on IoT investments and enable even more capabilities.
With our partners, we take our role as a Leader seriously in IoT platforms and products, and we plan to keep providing the products and support our customers need to move ahead with digital transformations.
Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Global Industrial IoT Platforms, Al Velosa, Eric Goodness, et. al, December 12, 2022.
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