How to select the right IoT platform. For an increasing number of businesses, IoT is rapidly moving from a nice-to-have to a strategic necessity. At its simplest, an IoT solution provides the opportunity to save operational costs, introduce new service revenue opportunities, or help to ensure compliance with new regulations, writes Robin Duke-Woolley.
In practice, IoT platforms are therefore becoming more and more a combination of these dressed up in a wide range of business needs, some more urgent than others.
Decision making in respect of which IoT solutions and platforms to select gets more challenging when successful IoT engagement means processing large amounts of data in real-time to support current business operations. It can be more challenging still to integrate these new real-time data flows with traditional batch update data typical of IT systems already in use. Those challenges increase further when these data flows need to interoperate smoothly and securely across several different business operations, all in real-time.
To cater for these and other challenges and create an IoT solution that will stand the test of time, IoT platforms are increasingly being viewed as the starting point to build on. Put simply, the aim of an IoT platform is to reduce the time and cost of getting new IoT solutions built and implemented by using components already available and being used in other IoT solutions. An IoT platform takes advantage of the fact that the majority of what is needed for most IoT solutions is the same and does not need to be reinvented for every application: it can be predesigned and made available through a platform. The platform then also provides the means for implementing those elements that are specific to the particular application, as well as customising and configuring the solution for the specific need.
So how does a business user, also referred as an adopter, go about choosing the right IoT platform for them?