The Internet of Things is still very much a growth industry. As a technology area whose development is dictated by the needs of the operational side of any given business, it\u2019s a new challenge for traditional IT companies \u2013 and one that gives them an unusual array of competitors. But there are always going to be a few companies that set the tone, and we\u2019ve collected what we think are the 10 most powerful players in the IoT sector right now.\nA word on methodology. We began by looking at about 25 prominent corporate names in IoT, comparing them based on how innovative their technology is, their market share and solution depth and breadth.\n\nWhat we mean by the latter two terms is fairly straightforward. Depth refers to how much of the stack in a given IoT implementation that a company\u2019s products are designed to handle, while breadth refers to how many different verticals to which those products are relevant.\nMarket share can be difficult to measure, so we offer those estimates based mostly on extensive conversations with and data provided by analysts. Finally, where innovation is concerned, we tried to get a sense of the degree to which a given company\u2019s technology is unique or at least much-imitated by its competitors.\nHere's the 10 most powerful in alphabetical order.\nAccenture\nInnovation: Accenture isn\u2019t known for its in-house technical wizardry, and the secret sauce here is the company\u2019s expertise at bringing in hardware and software from its partners, including Microsoft, Amazon and Cisco, which in itself is quite an achievement. The company refers to it as \u201cconnected platforms as a service,\u201d or CPaaS.\nMarket Share: Directly quantifying IoT market share is a difficult exercise, but Accenture\u2019s one of the best-known integrators on the market, bringing together platform providers, hardware manufacturers and makers of specialist solutions.\nDepth of solution: Per Gartner\u2019s latest IIoT Magic Quadrant report, the combination of open-source IP and Accenture\u2019s own, usually acquired, tech makes for an \u201cextensible and configurable\u201d IoT platform. Ironically, it can be something of a walled garden. Once you\u2019re working with Accenture, you\u2019re mostly locked into working with its partners, Gartner notes, but that partner ecosystem is still quite extensive.\nBreadth of solution: Accenture\u2019s made a successful business out of helping enterprises in a wide variety of industries get their technology to work for them, so they\u2019ve got a broad base of vertical-specific knowledge to call on for IoT, which is a critically important thing to have.\nAmazon Web Services\nInnovation: The fully integrated approach to IoT analytics \u2013 which lets AWS bring its formidable array of data analysis and machine learning tools together with several purpose-built frameworks for IoT insights and control \u2013 is now par for the course among big public cloud providers offering themselves up as a general purpose IoT back-end. But AWS was the first one to pull all those elements together in a meaningful way and has set the standard.\nMarket share: It\u2019s difficult to get a sense of overall market share for a product that AWS sells across many verticals, although a survey of enterprise IoT users from the 451 Group rated them third overall among IoT platforms. But if the company\u2019s frequent announcements of big-name new partnerships with firms like Volkswagen, VMware and Sprint are anything to go by, some of the world\u2019s large IoT back-ends live somewhere on AWS.\nDepth of solution: Amazon\u2019s IoT offerings are heavily focused on back-end storage, analysis and general management of the data produced by IoT implementations. So you\u2019re not going to buy sensors or edge hardware or networking elements from Amazon, nor the main management software you\u2019ll use to directly oversee your systems. But AWS will handle most of the data manipulation.\nBreadth of solution: As a company whose main point of entry into the IoT market is as a huge public cloud provider, this is a particularly strong category for AWS. The entire point of most IoT implementations is the creation of valuable insight from machine-generated data, so there really aren\u2019t many IoT deployments that aren\u2019t a good fit for AWS\u2019s IoT-focused products.\nArm\nInnovation: As the world's premier creator of small-scale silicon, Arm provides one of the key underpinnings of IoT. Its expertise at designing efficient, low-power chips for mobile and embedded use means that a lot of the devices we think of when we mention IoT couldn\u2019t exist without the company\u2019s innovative designs. What\u2019s more, Arm recently announced its own Pelion IoT platform, in an attempt to capture a share of that market space. (And it even supports x86!)\nMarket share: Arm\u2019s long been the dominant designer of chipsets for smartphones and other smaller devices, so its enormous presence in the IoT space shouldn\u2019t come as a surprise to anyone. The company\u2019s designs are near-ubiquitous across most IoT verticals.\nDepth of solution: While the company has attempted to chase a share of the IoT platform market with Pelion, Arm is vastly more important because of its chip designs. This could change if Pelion and its associated interconnectivity, security and onboarding solutions gain more market traction, but, again, the really important thing is the silicon.\nBreadth of solution: Arm processors are darn near everywhere in the world of IoT, so it\u2019s difficult to imagine any company having much broader applicability.\nAT&T\nInnovation: The innovation for AT&T is, as you might guess, focused on the connectivity piece of IoT. The giant mobile service provider has been aggressive in its pursuit of IoT integration into its national network, and offers a wide range of services through its IoT platform, including onboarding and data visualization.\nMarket share: Should AT&T be measured against pure connectivity providers like SigFox, standards like LoRaWAN or other types of wireless connection used in IoT, like Wi-Fi? Regardless, what does seem clear is that AT&T is a wildly popular choice for cellular IoT connections. A 2018 study from Counterpoint Research said that AT&T\u2019s share of that market is nearly twice that of its nearest competitor.\nDepth of solution: AT&T\u2019s presence in the IoT world isn\u2019t limited to providing connectivity, the company\u2019s obvious strong suit. In addition to its in-house IoT platform offering and a range of connectivity services, AT&T partners with some of its suppliers to offer wireless hardware for customers trying to connect their own devices to the IoT.\nBreadth of solution: While not every IoT application is the right fit for the type of cellular connectivity that AT&T provides, it\u2019s still a pretty popular option for more data-intensive tasks, and AT&T has a non-trivial presence elsewhere in the IoT stack.\nCisco\nInnovation: When Cisco didn\u2019t have in-house expertise to advance its IoT portfolio, it did what Cisco does: acquire it. Case in point: the Jasper control center for connectivity management. In addition, the company\u2019s undoubted networking expertise has been well-applied to IoT-specific issues, and its ability to integrate basically any connectivity option smoothly is enormously helpful. Among other things, the company produces ruggedized wireless gear for industrial environments, a field networking control suite and a version of IOx for edge devices.\nMarket share: Not content with being the 800-pound gorilla of enterprise networking, Cisco\u2019s also the 800-pound gorilla of IoT networking. In the edge compute market, in particular, analysts agree that the company is among the biggest players, and Cisco\u2019s got at least a presence in several major IoT market segments, including oil and gas, healthcare and automotive.\nDepth of solution: Cisco has a fairly diverse IoT presence, including partnerships with IIoT vendors, the Jasper business unit for connectivity management and the Kinetic IoT platform for data management. In short, Cisco has an active presence in lots of different parts of the IoT stack.\nBreadth of solution: Cisco\u2019s has partnerships throughout the IoT ecosystem, including its network management technology, which is available on all three of the major cloud platforms. Coupled with its applicability to many verticals this means it\u2019s got a very, very wide IoT footprint.\nGoogle\nInnovation: Having arguably the biggest accumulation of coding talent on the planet isn\u2019t going to hurt a company trying to offer innovative, flexible features for IoT users. Its Pub\/Sub technology dramatically simplifies event data handling, and the company\u2019s powerful AI\/machine-learning technology can be delivered right down to the edge.\nMarket share: While Google\u2019s the smallest of the three large, general-use IoT public clouds, that still makes it a major player in the IoT platform market.\nDepth of solution: Even though the focus is clearly on the back-end, Google boasts enough clever features \u2013 like dedicated IoT development platform Firebase and the ability for its IoT Core to natively speak a lot of different messaging languages \u2013 to make the case that it\u2019s not just applying its in-built data-crunching smarts to information that\u2019ll have to be provided by somebody else.\nBreadth of solution: Like the other big cloud providers, Google\u2019s IoT offerings might appeal to pretty much anyone trying to get the most out of their data, given the company\u2019s expertise in analytics and machine learning. Businesses with a particularly diverse lineup of edge devices, such as those with a need to use multiple message formats, might be especially interested.\nHitachi\nInnovation: Another long-standing industrial player making its presence felt in the new IIoT market, Hitachi offers its Lumada platform as an appliance, software subscription or as a service. Lumada takes a somewhat different approach to key IIoT functionality like digital twinning, with a slightly offbeat version it calls \u201casset avatars,\u201d which are focused on asset monitoring and alerting features, according to Gartner.\nMarket share: Lumada\u2019s not yet the go-to platform for any particular vertical market, but Hitachi\u2019s broad reach has created a Lumada presence across several industries, detailed below. It\u2019s also worth noting that Hitachi\u2019s presence in the IoT market proper is a fairly recent development, dating back just two years.\nDepth of solution: Analysts cite this as a particular strength for Hitachi, praising the company\u2019s ability to offer an end-to-end IoT solution to its customers, from edge compute and monitoring functionality all the way through machine learning and a cloud back-end. Hitachi\u2019s long experience on both sides of the operational\/IT divide is a big part of that.\nBreadth of solution: Fittingly, for the product of a heavily diversified company like Hitachi, Lumada\u2019s target customer isn\u2019t just traditional industrial and utility companies. The company has also taken aim at smart cities and the transportation sector, and its availabliity as hardware, software or a service helps make its IoT offerings an attractive option.\nIBM\nInnovation: IBM\u2019s advanced AI and machine learning capabilities through its Watson platform were ground-breaking at the time of their release, and they remain capable tools for turning IoT-created data into business value. In addition to making the actual management of IoT infrastructure easier, Watson brings the ability to glean powerful insights from machine-generated data.\nMarket share: A recent survey from 451 Research ranked IBM as second only to Microsoft in terms of enterprise IoT-platform market share, comfortably outdistancing the other cloud-platform specialists, including Amazon and Google. That\u2019s not even counting IBM\u2019s Maximo asset management system, newly updated for the IoT era and part of the company\u2019s long-standing presence in the industrial sector.\nDepth of solution: IBM\u2019s still mostly supplies the brains of IoT operations rather than the hardware, but that still means Watson\u2019s smarts can be applied to at least a few different layers of the IoT stack, including networking automation, beyond just crunching the numbers.\nBreadth of solution: Getting the most out of the data an IoT system provides is a common need across most types of IoT implementation, so the potential applicability of Watson\u2019s smarts alone makes IBM strong here.\nMicrosoft\nInnovation: Microsoft wasn\u2019t the first to the party on integrated, public-cloud-based back ends for IoT, but they\u2019ve created a lot of IoT-centric applications and systems, including IoT Hub, solution accelerators and digital-twin tech for Azure. What\u2019s more, the company has targeted specific verticals, including manufacturing, energy and logistics.\nMarket share: There aren\u2019t a lot of direct measurements of overall IoT platform market share out there, but Microsoft has numerous partners across many different industries including Fujitsu, BMW and Intel. This suggests the company appeals to a broad base.\nDepth of solution: Microsoft is heavily focused on data and the cloud, so Azure can take care of managing and extracting value from an IoT data set thanks to the its advanced analytics features like Time Series Insights and Azure Maps spatial analytics.\nBreadth of solution: Analytical insights, whether they\u2019re real-time fault detection or long-view productivity trends, are the holy grail of IoT, and in that capacity Azure IoT can be a productive part of essentially any IoT deployment. Put another way, every IoT setup needs a way to collect and process all the data it generates, and Azure has a range of services to address widely varied use cases.\nPTC\nInnovation: Having acquired the various components of the ThingWorx IIoT platform over the course of the past six years, PTC has spent the interim crafting it into one of the most complete industrial offerings on the market. The company has applied its long-standing experience in heavy industry (it was founded in 1985 to sell a CAD-modeling product for industrial design) to the IoT, making it one of the leading specialist industrial IoT platforms on the market.\n\n\n\n\n\nMarket share: Industry analysts tend to agree that ThingWorx is among the market leaders in its category, and is among the first names that analysts mention when the topic of prominent IIoT companies is raised. Gartner, for example, rates PTC closer to the leaders quadrant of its most recent IIoT Magic Quadrant report than any other company.\nDepth of solution: Boasting a strong analytical back end, ThingWorx\u2019s applies it top-to-bottom, from digital-twin functionality for endpoints to rigorous data analysis, which means that it\u2019s a relatively compete solution for the industrial use case.\nBreadth of solution: Although it\u2019s inarguably an IIoT-focused platform, ThingWorx boasts great flexibility within that market segment, with a large developer community working on a wide array of IIoT functionality.