Industrial IoT gets its own Magic Quadrant, but why now?

Written by: Brant Henne

Nothing says you’ve arrived like getting your own Magic Quadrant. Earlier this month, Gartner issued its inaugural Magic Quadrant for Industrial IoT Platforms, signaling that a new and distinct market has emerged from the generic, catch-all of “the internet of things.” More importantly, the report defines the requirements and capabilities of Industrial IoT, or IIoT, in the context of executing an IoT business strategy.

For those of us who have tired of the endless barrage of “reports” speculating on the IoT’s market size in 2025, this Magic Quadrant comes as welcome reading material. Here’s some of the takeaways that we’ve found particularly interesting at PTC:

  • Industrial IoT platforms are defined by six core capabilities, including integration, data management, analytics, application enablement and security. We don’t define them in exactly the same way, but they approximate our bucket list of end-to-end capabilities in our ThingWorx Industrial Innovation platform.
  • The gulf between IIoT and IoT platforms is substantive. From support for both on-premise and cloud computing to an inversion of the device-to-data ratio, IIoT is not your mother’s IoT.
  • PTC is a visionary in IIoT. At the risk of burying the lede, PTC is very satisfied with our position, relative to other vendors. We believe that many of our listed strengths are unique among the vendors. Additionally, we’re already in the process of addressing some of the listed cautions in upcoming product releases (spoiler alert: you’ll want to come to LiveWorx if you’re interested in the future of ThingWorx and the Industrial IoT).
  • There’s some notable vendor absences. Some of the biggest names in IoT platforms are absent. That speaks to Gartner’s carefully applied definition of Industrial IoT, as well as the diverse nature of platforms. It should be expected that some of these vendors will be included in the next edition of the Magic Quadrant.
  • Device Management and Digital Twins are targets for IIoT platform maturity. The report identifies more robust device management (something ThingWorx demonstrates relative strength in already) as a necessary area of development for IIoT platforms. They also see Digital Twins (the digital representation of a physical asset) as a promising application of IIoT—but also needing some greater ability to customize and scale. Digital Twins is a use case that has been central to PTC’s technology strategy, and it’s an area where we’ll continue to push boundaries.

At PTC, we see the publication of this piece, and its findings, as indicative of a turning point in IIoT. Even two years ago, the capability portfolios and the vision to apply this technology wouldn’t have supported this report. At the same time, Gartner levels a challenging assessment at the market as a whole, indicating that this is a new market. There’s certainly some priorities and assertion in the fine print that we might disagree with, but the big picture is fairly accurate; IIoT has arrived, and it’s only going to mature and get more robust over the next several years, likely through internal innovation as well as acquisition of niche solution providers.

Particularly for those companies considering (or are already entrenched in) a DIY-sourced IoT model, this report should be a sobering wake-up call. The breadth of capabilities and the bar being set to meet minimum requirements are not trivial. Short of completely abandoning their current business models to become a platform developer, most companies simply won’t be able to keep pace with competitors who are outfitted with Industrial IoT platforms.

Similarly, for companies who feel as though their pace of IoT progress has leveled off, we’d encourage them to use this report as the beginning of a diagnostic process. Discovery should be conducted to measure the capabilities of their current platforms, and how they are using those platforms. It’s entirely possible that companies aren’t using the platforms to their full potential. In many cases, however, the diagnosis could be that their current IoT platform simply doesn’t offer enough core capabilities to meet their operational needs.

Tags: CAD Industrial Internet of Things

About the Author

Brant Henne

As a Content Strategy Manager, I thrive on engaging technology stories. There's no shortage of these stories at PTC; we're helping entire industries use the IoT and AR to transform their business.