IBM’s (NYSE: IBM) decision to invest three billion and hire 2,000 workers to staff its new Internet of Things Business Unit solidifies its position as a preeminent player and driving force in mainstream IoT adoptions, says research firm Strategy Analytics.

Big Blue Chair and CEO Ginni Rometty has refocused IBM on cloud, “Watson” supercomputer and Internet of Things products and strategies. And Strategy Analytics sees benefits in Rometty’s approach, which is taking IBM from past reliance on hardware and related services to new partnerships such as with Apple and Facebook.

The IoT represents a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity, according to Cisco Systems.

The report, titled “IBM Takes Aim at IoT with Multi Billions Investment,” discloses that:

  • IBM has invested over $10 billion to spearhead its interrelated IoT, Analytics and cloud initiatives.
  • IBM’s worldwide brand, ongoing R&D activities, extensive solutions and high profile partnerships like the Apple Mobile First alliance, make it an IoT powerhouse across many verticals.

According to the report, IBM’s strategy includes “four foundational elements:”

  • Devices and Networks – Hardware, networking, and operating systems infrastructure.
  • Platforms – Technology offerings to build and manage IoT solutions. Programming APIs for software development.
  • Applications & Solutions – Combined capabilities, security and services for specific IoT solutions to mask complexity and reduce risks.
  • Industry-specific Transformations – via packaged offerings like strategic consulting and business process change.

“IBM is using its considerable resources to accelerate IoT deployments across a wide variety of verticals,” said Laura DiDio, SA’s Director of IoT Enterprise Research and Consulting. “Big Blue is also ensuring close collaboration among its many business groups: Analytics; Systems and Technology (STG); the Watson Business Unit and its Cloud and Services groups to ease the transition.”

IBM is utilizing 13 research centers around the world as well as its growing patent portfolio to drive development of products and services.

IBM annually leads in patents awarded.

The end game for the strategy?

“IBM’s IoT initiatives underscore the business and technology value enterprises can derive from IoT and Analytics: cost savings; new service development; increased competitiveness and improved efficiency of their business processes,” said Andrew Brown, SA’s Executive Director of IoT and Mobility.

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IBM operates one of its largest corporate campuses in RTP and employs several thousand people across the state.