Your IoT platform is the heart of your entire IoT solution. Building a reliable and scalable IoT platform is not a piece of cake, which is why these days the market is booming with hundreds of thousands of IoT PaaS (Platform as a Service) vendors. Choosing the right IoT platform for your solution has become more complex than it was ever before. That’s why, in this blog post we have covered some of the best selection criteria to pick the right IoT cloud platform for your needs. Before we delve into this, you first need to know what an IoT platform is.
What is an IoT Platform?
In simple terms, a platform is a comprehensive set of tools and services which allow developers to build and run an application. However, an IoT platform could have diverse meanings depending on whom you are talking to in the internet of things, IoT ecosystem. For instance, an IoT platform for cloud service providers is their infrastructure, where a developer creates an application. For hardware vendors, an IoT platform is the embedded board where you could write your IoT applications. For the sake of clarity, we are considering an IoT platform as the middleware layer responsible for consuming data from the devices and sensors and providing meaningful and actionable results based on that insight. Generally, an IoT platform offers a device software development kit a.k.a SDK or well defined APIs through which developers and programmers could easily connect to any hardware platform and avail of their cloud-based services.
If you have attended any IoT expo recently, most probably you would have noticed that almost every IoT platform provider claims to be better, faster, safer and smarter than others. Now, how do you make a wise decision in such a competitive landscape and pick the right platform that will reduce your solution risk? Don’t fret, we’ve mentioned below some key selection criteria to choose the right IoT platform. Let us take a quick look.
Considerations In Choosing The Right IoT Platform
Alas! Today, a cloud IoT platform is opted for based on the effectiveness of the vendor sales pitch. This is mainly because the companies that are trying to get a handle on digital transformation do not possess the requisite knowledge or training in IoT specific areas, and IoT vendors usually woo their customers based on their impressive customer references. There are some important technical evaluation criteria which are often overlooked. These need to be kept in mind for choosing the right IoT platform. Let's take a look at them:
#5 System Performance
#6 Redundancy and Disaster Recovery
#8 Edge Intelligence
#9 Budget, developmental skills, and capacity of your in-house team
#10 Your business model and its specific requirements that must be met
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Last week at IoT World, I stopped by the Buddy Platform booth (namely because of their killer Lego set-up).
Buddy provides data hosting and management solutions for manufacturers and vendors of connected ("IoT") devices. With only a handful of lines of code added to any connected device, Buddy claims that they can host the telemetry data generated by these devices in various regions around the world, as well shape and query the data prior to pushing it into any business intelligence (BI) toolset desired. In addition to telemetry management, Buddy enables M2M scenarios by exposing query results on the telemetry stream via real-time RESTful APIs, as well as a messaging mechanism for external control of devices.
Prior to IoT World, I sent Buddy CEO and Co-Founder Dave McLauchlan a few questions. Here's what he had to say.
What is the Buddy Platform?
Buddy Platform is a highly secure, cloud-based platform that takes and processes raw data from hundreds of millions of connected devices, appliances and sensors, then makes it accessible in real-time for businesses. The platform has significant capabilities to manage billions of transactions across millions of devices in real time and at a global scale.
Buddy’s enterprise-ready solution allows organizations to own the data without investing in data infrastructure. In many cases the companies that make devices with the most potential in their device data are not traditional data companies - they make appliances, vehicles, heavy equipment in farming, mining and manufacturing. These organizations are able to speed up their time to market and skip building out an internal data infrastructure team that can be expensive and resource heavy.
In preparation for massive IoT growth in the next decade, Buddy is focused on how internet connected devices can provide enormous amounts of valuable data to improve and enhance insights and actions across industries. From mining, manufacturing, energy and resources to connected cities, our technology can help businesses improve performance, safety, and functionality across operations.
We are based in Seattle, WA and have an engineering office in Adelaide, South Australia. In December 2015 we listed on the Australian Securities Exchange under the ticker symbol BUD.
Tell us how mobile is the gateway and hub for IoT.
There is a very strong correlation in the consumer IoT space between mobile applications and IoT devices because mobile apps are the control point. You could say an IoT platform isn’t complete without good, strong mobile support. This approach is a main differentiator for Buddy, our system is a platform for Things and Apps, you can see data from both come through your Buddy account and have a more unified view. Given our heritage as a Mobile as a Backend service, and our capabilities now in IoT we are uniquely positioned against others in the space.
What trends are you seeing in the silicon industry to address IoT?
More and more silicon organizations, companies and manufacturers are looking to get deeper integration with device management through data management, so that when they sell silicon, the data can be deployed and managed for the customer. Increasingly, customers of silicon vendors are looking for solutions that include a robust, scalable and secure cloud platform. We think this trend will continue, and that has already led to great partnerships between Buddy and companies like Marvell and Gimbal.
Much of the attention in IoT is focused on consumer technologies, but the real action, often unrealized by the average person, is happening in the industrial sector. What are you most excited about in IoT and what can we expect from it?
IoT is still managing it’s way through an enormous hype cycle and it’s true, things like wearables and home automation garner much of the attention. While these areas are certainly very exciting because they are the most tangible to people, what’s happening in industrial IOT is just as exciting in that it will also be powering great new experiences and services, but as an enabler rather than being front and center on store shelves. We are seeing great opportunity in the energy sector for IoT, and how that translates into business value for utilities, cities and buildings. Everything from solar panels, to automated meters are becoming connected which means governments, real estate managers and homeowners have a better view into how they are using and producing energy. That translates into cost savings, efficiency and increased awareness that can have real impact in the lives of people, and the health of our environment and planet.
Photo courtesy of David Oro
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