For beginners who are not aware of IoT, IoT stands for Internet of Things. This is a new way of how we stay connected. IoT can be considered as the web of connected devices which relate to each other to update and perform operations. The underlying software and hardware combination that becomes the bridge among these devices is called the IoT Platform. But this is not the only duty IoT device management platforms perform. IoT also produces visualizations and reports that brief the user of the ongoing engagements and statuses of devices.
So, if you plan to move your business to IoT, or if you are upgrading the system, how do you select the IoT platform? In this post, we shall be seeing what factors and principles to consider when you are selecting IoT infrastructure and platform.
Availability and Scalability
This is the number one consideration when going for an IoT platform. IoT platforms are meant to stay connected and available all the time. While many devices might not need to be connected all the time, availability during the desired time is critical. If your IoT solution is not available all the time, you are not having IoT in its core definition.
With availability comes scalability. You never know how many devices may be coming over. If your IoT solution is not scalable, it might deliver value in the beginning but later it will not be feasible to continue.
IoT systems deliver value from day one without having to hire people or make arrangements for control. However, this value will be utmost only if the platform is highly scalable and available.
Secure Backup of Data on Cloud
Another point to consider is how you collect data. IoT platforms generate a lot of data. This is because of the number of devices connected and their mutual interaction and the duration for which they operate. Data can come from a wide array of devices such as sensors, 3rd party databases, inputs, and much more.
To leverage the power of the IoT platform, it is needed to perform the visualizations and understanding of the reports. So instead of building yourself a platform and application to deliver value to you, an IoT platform having an in-built interface can save a lot of your time and give you a 360-degree view of your system from day one.
Lastly, security cannot be ignored. Data should not be lost or stolen. Hence make sure the platform you opt for complies with the security standards and has proper authentication and authorization methods in place.
The Capacity of the Team
If you are adopting an IoT platform, you also need to consider how skilled your existing team is. Adopting technology is one thing, but if your team is not skilled enough it will become a bottleneck in the operations as well as a burden on your budget. Make sure you arrange for the timely training, sessions, documentation, and walkthroughs of the system you are going to implement if it’s new for you.
Trade-Off Between Time and Money
So you think you want to go for some shiny IoT platform for your business or organization. Before signing the deal for the IoT system first make sure you understand the why behind your decision. No matter which business it is, either it needs to save time or save money. Knowing what you need to save will immensely affect your decision.
Some IoT platforms are money savers. They simply act as message brokers and only connect the devices but do not suit most of the use cases. While at first, this arrangement will look attractive to you, the solution won’t be scaleable in the future, if more and more use cases are needed to be handled. On the other hand, if a platform is going to be compatible in the future and save time in upgrades and enhancements, such a platform is going to be costly.
Compatibility of More Devices
IoT is meant to be a collection of devices. These devices perform their specific function and connect and send data according to their protocol. Generally speaking, hardware upgrades are very common and very frequent. Having a platform that can accept and enable a large number of devices will save cost and improve functionality in the longer run.
With hardware also comes a need to update protocols. Suppose hardware receives some operating system and updates the communication protocol. This should not render the device useless. Rather the IoT platform should extend this functionality and support and protocols. In any case, having the acceptance of more and more devices is always desired.
Data from the IoT device needs to be visualized and understood for information. Similarly, this data might also be needed in other applications as well. If the IoT platform comes with an interactive analytics offering along with APIs to import and export data to other applications, it will extend the functionality of existing applications and improve the operative capability.
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