Despite the risk of adding to what’s become expected breathless IT industry hyperbole, it is my belief that IoT is nothing short of the 21st century equivalent of the Industrial Revolution. I’ll explain below.

But first, today is an exciting day for Persistent Systems and one that will define our future.  At IBM Interconnect in Las Vegas, Chris O’Connor, GM of IBM’s Internet of Things business, shared how our two companies will significantly extend the partnership we’ve built up over two decades so that our customers can leverage the Watson IOT platform for this new revolution.  We will work closely with IBM to develop and deploy Watson IOT so that customers can build, deploy, sell and interact with their Internet of Things.  Essentially, pushing them to become software-driven businesses; this is the true essence of IOT.

On Chris’s panel I was honored to be joined by leaders from various industries; Clay Mahaffey, Global R&D Director, Kimberly-Clark Professional, Lanny Cohen, Global CTO, Capgemini, Larry Wash, EVP, KONE Americas and  Matthias Rebellius, CEO, Siemens Building Technologies,. The conversation was fascinating and the vision compelling.  It was also very heartening to hear the panel reinforce what we have been saying for some time – that real digital transformation is about becoming a software-driven business with software-driven things at the core.

 This brings me back to this being nothing short of the magnitude of the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. That revolution improved the process of manufacturing which led to mass-production of goods at affordable costs. Leveraging the Watson IOT platform, “things” will reconfigure themselves in the field, and will monitor, measure and share their parameters to the global cloud in real-time.  With sophisticated algorithms that are part of the Watson analytics platform, customers will be able to optimize the performance of these things in the context of millions of other objects (things) in the field.  This revolution will improve the way we manufacture, distribute and operate every system that is known to mankind.

 In this new connected world, disruptive forces are coming from all directions and incumbents must expect competition not just from known peers but also from next generation born-digital companies that are starting fresh and are not encumbered by either physical legacy constraints or a mindset that limit how they see the world. These born-digital companies do things differently. They maintain continuous delivery, seamless integration and respond rapidly with ongoing actionable intelligence.

And this is where what we are doing with IBM is so exciting.  At Persistent, we’ve gone all in on this relationship.  The partnership combines IBM’s Watson IoT capabilities with our expertise around continuous engineering, analytics and enterprise digital transformation.  Through this partnership we will build and expand our 1,000+ engineers already dedicated to developing various aspects of the IBM platform to the Watson IOT platform.  We will work together with IBM to closely engage with customers to help drive their IOT vision.

IBM Watson is just starting this revolution. And to quote the Beatles, it’s going to be alright!