Top auto makers rely on cloud providers for IoT

cloud connected smart cars
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For the companies looking to implement the biggest and most complex IoT setups in the world, the idea of pairing up with AWS, Google Cloud or Azure seems to be one whose time has come. Within the last two months, BMW and Volkswagen have both announced large-scale deals with Microsoft and Amazon, respectively, to help operate their extensive network of operational technology.

According to Alfonso Velosa, vice president and analyst at Gartner, part of the impetus behind those two deals is that the automotive sector fits in very well with the architecture of the public cloud. Public clouds are great at collecting and processing data from a diverse array of different sources, whether they’re in-vehicle sensors, dealerships, mechanics, production lines or anything else.

“What they’re trying to do is create a broader ecosystem. They think they can leverage the capabilities from these folks,” Velosa said.

Cloud providers as IoT partners

The idea is automated analytics for service and reliability data, manufacturing and a host of other operational functions. And while the full realization of that type of service is still very much a work in progress, it has clear-cut advantages for big companies – a skilled partner handling tricky implementation work, built-in capability for sophisticated analytics and security, and, of course, the ability to scale up in a big way.

Hence, the structure of the biggest public clouds has upside for many large-scale IoT deployments, not just the ones taking place in the auto industry. The cloud giants have vast infrastructures, with multiple points of presence all over the world.

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