An IoT Platform enables direct provisioning, management, and automation of connected devices within the Internet of Things Universe. It’s basically a multi-layer technology that connects the hardware, irrespective of it type, to the cloud using flexible connectivity options, security mechanisms and data processing powers.
We’ve seen what an IoT Platform is (for more detailed information, click here), so now let us see why an organization should use an IoT Platform, and what factors to keep in mind before selecting a platform.
Because IoT is a system of systems i.e. it’s a network of devices and software applications, it has a lot of sub-domains of expertise, which is rarely accommodated by a single organization in itself. Since IoT depends on the correct synthesis of engineering fields as distinct as mechanical, electrical, software, etc, IoT Platforms are a great way to overcome technical difficulties arising from managing various teams of specialized engineers.
However, a single IoT platform cannot cater to all the various needs of the industry. Thus, there are a near infinite number of platforms for the various different breeds of applications, to cater to the needs of all industries and organizations.
Unlike other platforms (mobile platforms, desktop platforms, etc.), IoT Platforms have a lot more variety and customizability available to the businesses which employ them. This, in addition to the various benefits which IoT offers, is why IoT Platforms are in such demand in recent times.
There are some factors which need to be considered while deciding on the most compatible IoT platform-
- Scalability and Flexibility- whether the platform will scale with the changes in scale of the system. Also, it has to flexible for the various technological changes which will undoubtedly occur every few years, i.e. the network should be integrable with different networks.
- Stability- the platform provider should be trustworthy and be capable of providing the platform for a long term. If the provider folds, the business may crash.
- Model Pricing and Business type- whether the platform is suitable for the type of business it needs to be used for, and also whether the pricing is suitable for the services offered.
- Time to Market- i.e. the time it will take before the platform is up and running for use in public domain, and how the provider would help in getting there.
- Security- lastly, one of the most important factors, security. Security is absolutely critical to every IoT system. Each aspect of the platform should have security built into it. Device-to-cloud security, application authentication, data encryption, etc are some of the things to be on the lookout for.
IoT solutions are getting more and more complex and dynamic, involving larger ecosystems of devices. With all the new types of remote interactions between humans and devices, IoT platforms are spearheading a new model for the digital transformation.