Hitachi to invest $2.8B in IoT; launches new unit and platform

Hitachi is doubling down on its already sizeable Internet of Things (IoT) interests with a $2.8 billion investment in IoT-related activities over the next three years. As well, the Japanese industrial giant unveiled a new U.S.-based unit that will focus on boosting its booming IoT business and launched a new IoT core platform.

According to a Bloomberg report, Hitachi is earmarking $2.8 billion in spending on IoT research and development, capital spending and acquisitions. Its new IoT-focused unit, the Hitachi Insight Group, will get around $918 million of the total IoT investment. This new unit employs about 6,000 people; the remainder of the IoT budget will be spent across other IoT initiatives at Hitachi, involving another 10,000 employees.

The new IoT unit, announced on May 10 at the IoT World conference, will focus on expanding Hitachi’s current roster of 33 IoT solutions that generated a hefty $5.4 billion in 2015 revenue. The new subsidiary, headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., will springboard off Hitachi’s existing IoT collaborations with AT&T, Microsoft, Intel and SAP.

Hitachi Insight Group’s first order of business was to unveil its new enterprise-grade IoT core platform Lumada at the Internet of Things World Conference and Exposition.

“Through the formation of Hitachi Insight Group and the Lumada IoT core platform we will provide Hitachi’s customers and partners with the fastest and simplest path to develop and deploy comprehensive digital solutions at scale,” said Hitachi senior vice president Keiji Kojima.

The new unit will unite its IoT and digital branches under one aegis that will target increased market share in the global IoT industry, which IDC projects will grow to $1.46 trillion by 2020. Hitachi Insight Group will develop R&D and go-to-market strategies in four of Hitachi’s key IoT segments: Smart Industry, Smart Energy, Smart City and Smart Healthcare.

Hitachi also launches Lumada platform

Meanwhile, Hitachi said the Lumada platform will form the core foundation that all of Hitachi’s future IoT products and services will be based upon. The company says that Lumada’s open and adaptable architecture will enable simulation models, data orchestration, content intelligence, streaming analytics and other Hitachi software technologies.

“Lumada was specifically designed to address the challenges associated with IoT solution creation leveraging Hitachi’s rich OT (operational technology) and IT (informational technology) expertise and technologies,” Hitachi said in a release. “Lumada accelerates synthesizing of actionable insights, delivering faster time to value and supporting better decisions that lead to real world outcomes, like increased productivity and safety, streamlined processes, reduced operational costs and carbon footprint, or improved quality of life. “

Hitachi’s existing portfolio includes a broad array of IoT concerns including: renewable and sustainable energy; intelligent transportation; precision agriculture and manufacturing; solutions and services for public safety and smart cities; construction and mining; and urban development and water treatment.

“IoT represents a critical inflection point, in which the interests of business, industry and society are now intersecting and aligning like never before,” said Kevin Eggleston, Hitachi Insight Group’s general manager for the Americas.

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