There’s nothing like a large conference or event to really show you how new technologies and solutions are impacting the real world. And often, the most meaningful interactions are not with vendors or sponsors, but with the attendees—the people responsible for implementing all the exciting new tools that the rest of us work so hard to develop.
This week, I went to Bosch ConnectedWorld 2019 in Berlin, Germany, and the attendance here is remarkable. Positioning itself as “the leading conference on IoT and digital transformation,” BCW has grown from 400 attendees at the first event in 2014, to more than 5000 this year. And unlike many IoT conferences that are aimed at the consumer space (connected homes and cars, that kind of thing), BCW is all about industrial and enterprise applications with a sharp focus on vertical industries such as manufacturing, utilities, and automotive.
IoT is serious business for Bosch, its partners, and its customers. Since 2018, the company has devoted a board-level position exclusively to focus on IoT, and their IoT connected devices business now drives revenue of more than €1.5 billion.
Security and trust are critical elements of everything we do in our connected world, and IoT is no exception. High levels of confidence across digital, interconnected ecosystems has been critical to their mass adoption, and without this trust, the promise of IoT would never be fulfilled. To that end, BCW’19 was host to the first Digital Trust Forum, which brought together leading experts to look at how to build and safeguard trust in digital systems. As Dr. Michael Bolle, Bosch CDO/CTO, put it, “We cannot accept a situation in which the overwhelming reaction to digital innovations is mistrust and fear. For this reason, the aim of the Digital Trust Forum is to initiate open dialogue among experts to discuss the trust-related issues raised by the internet.”
F5 commends the Digital Trust Forum and the work they’re doing. We work closely with industry leaders like Bosch, the organizations that took part in the Forum, and countless other experts to ensure that enterprises can confidently invest in IoT solutions and will have the tools they need for success. For example, NetworkWorld Asia recently recognized F5 with multiple Information Management Awards, including best Application Delivery Controller (our 5th time), best in DDoS Protection (4th time), and a first-time award in Managed Security Services (for our Silverline product).
In addition to trust, enterprise users are also looking for ways to take advantage of hybrid cloud environments. Customers tell us that, first and foremost, they want the freedom to use whichever cloud is right for them. At the same time, they want to avoid vendor lock-in and recognize the value of open standards and technology alliances—such as those between F5 and nearly 100 other companies—in ensuring flexibility and scalability.
As Bosch leaders have commented, there is fundamentally no difference between enterprise applications and IoT applications. It both cases, our customers require interoperability (which does not exist without trust) between all ecosystem elements. Customers trust F5 today with their most critical applications because we have proven our leadership in providing multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud application delivery services that deliver availability, scalability and security.
IoT is driving significant business, particularly in vertical industries. If you’re not already partnering with F5 to ensure smooth, secure functionality across all your IoT apps, contact us today.