Big data analytics potential drives integrator, IT alliances

March 31, 2015
Unlikely partnerships the result of firms looking to capitalize on market potential

Big data is the most critical element in delivering a fully automated control and management system to commercial and industrial smart buildings. It is the software that makes it possible to fine tune and automate without the intervention of humans.  

But before big data can get to work, three phases of the Building Internet of Things (BIoT) development will need to be in place. Our new research report estimates that in the year 2020, the global market will be worth some $130 billion including BAS hardware, enablement hardware, and network services and related hardware.

While this investment will improve the flow of data within existing BAS software systems as well as reduce operating costs and improve building performance; it is unlikely that it would be sufficient to satisfy the majority of potential buyers.  

So, would an additional investment of $29 billion spent on big data and cloud software services in 2020 make the total investment a much more attractive business proposition? The conclusion of our report claims a very positive “yes,” but there are many commercial and technological obstacles to overcome with the most critical issues being lack of security and, at the moment, too many “open standards.”

The momentum that is now behind big data is solid with initiatives steadily progressing from test to production. Nearly every large scale IT vendor has developed a big data strategy and portfolio of expertise to exploit the new opportunity.

Major BAS manufacturers such as Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Schneider and Siemens have formed strategic alliances with IT companies to produce products and services in many different areas.

IBM, Cisco and Microsoft are seeing both the home and commercial buildings markets as potentially lucrative. They are developing new offerings that leverage on their systems integration expertise, networking and big data analytics experience to entice new customers. Indeed, it is largely pilots and case studies of big data analysis of building systems performance from these leading IT firms that are going a long way to proving the business case for improved building performance and related business enterprise analytics.

Several nascent consortia, partnerships and alliances of powerful IT industry players, telcos and semiconductor manufacturers are already emerging to serve the wider IoT market, but the dust has yet to settle on which will win out.

Nevertheless, such collaborations represent the best available means to develop standardized, stable and secure offerings that business can understand and trust to deliver the benefits being promised.

It seems mutually beneficial to both the consortia and the providers of building services/systems to join forces to better deliver big data solutions for buildings. Outside these consortia, we are already beginning to see the emergence of a number of cross sectorial partnerships between IT/networking firms with building controls firms and their systems integration partners.

The race is on and the winners will be those companies and consortia that can use big data and data analytics to provide the most compelling and cost-effective solutions, which will satisfy the customers buying proposition.

For more detail on the market for Big Data in Smart Buildings, visit or download our Free PDF synopsis at

About the Author

Jim McHale | Managing Director, Memoori

Jim McHale is managing director of Stockholm-based market research firm Memoori.