Choosing your best IoT platform

So How Do You Choose the Best IoT Platform?

Let’s start with defining what an IoT platform is?

An IoT application requires connecting devices to deliver a usable outcome. A set of well-defined APIs through which a developer can connect a hardware platform to consume data in a meaningful way can be defined as an IoT platform. It is a middleware layer on which an application can be created.

Evaluating and Choosing an IoT Platform

The choice of a platform will depend on the type of application one is looking for, we can have

  • Industrial application (such as oil and gas, manufacturing, or asset management)
  • Consumer Application (such as smart home applications or wearables)?

Industrial IoT platforms are mission critical as a failure can have an extremely high impact. For consumer application impact is mostly on the quality of service. All this puts diverse requirements on the platform. We still have a few parameters that we must evaluate before choosing a platform.

Choosing the Best IoT Platform - What to Consider:

The stability of the platform

Look for a large deployed platform, if a platform does not have existing customers it may not last a long time making your investments in it redundant.

The scalability and flexibility of the platform

This is a growing technology with the potential for exponential growth. Look for someone who can work with you on the upscaling of your application. Add flexibility to the above requirement as the technology is changing. You will get this from someone who supports open standards as against proprietary technology. The platform must commit to keeping pace with evolving IoT protocols, standards, and technologies. It should also work with or integrate with all major tech systems (interoperability).

The past work of the platform provider

Look for a platform that has an application like yours already running on it. It only needs to be a use case with similar characteristics giving you the confidence that your application demands will be handled well by the platform.

The pricing model and your business case

Look for transparency and past cost escalation data, this can be a big drain on your resources if not well studied. Try to match your cost model to your revenue models, that is, if you are charging a monthly subscription try a pay the platform a monthly subscription as against a lump sum.

How does the platform provider handle security?

An IoT platform must have security built into every aspect. Understand in detail: device-to-cloud network security, user app-to-wireless network security, cloud security, device security, application authentication, data encryption, data protection, secure session initiation, and concrete plans for updating security, including via over-the-air (OTA) communications. This cannot be overemphasized for any application. A breach can almost always ruin your complete business.

Time to market

Look for platform providers that support you in your go-to-market plans, the one willing to help speed-up the process saving you time and resources.

Data analytics and data ownership

Data availability makes all the difference, look for a provider that gives you basic descriptive analytics, visualization, diagnostics, predictive analytics, and perhaps even machine learning tools. Also look for the data ownership, a platform that pushes all the responsibility for the application is not a good idea.

Does the IoT platform provider care about you?

A caring platform works like a partner, you will get the right hints when you interact with the platform. Look for the questions they ask you - Do they ask about your budget, timeline, expectations, use cases, and things like that? Do they come across as people willing to partner you in your new journey? A platform provider that cares about you and your success will go the extra mile and make up for any areas in which their platform might be lacking.

IoT is going to become really big in the enterprise space, read a compelling account in a book called IoT Inc

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Contact: Gaurav Prakash

Address: Palam Vihar, Gurugram, Haryana 122017, India

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