It is now an established fact that maintaining an Internet of Things platform of your choice is crucial to the way business processes are carried out. And, the rapid adoption of IoT in all fields of industry has made it an asset to any company.
However, in spite of the rapid growth of IoT, the sad fact is that 90% of the data still remains unused, making it evident that we are not leveraging the full potential of IoT. Often failure to use the correct IoT platform is the commonest reason for this. When IBM conducted research into this, they came up with solutions.
One feasible solution was to release cognitive IoT solutions where the computer will not be programmed, but will learn through intelligent means of experience, human interaction and data. Through cognitive IoT, vast amounts of data can be used.
So, let’s take a look at some of best tips that will help you choose the right IoT platform for your business.
1. The Unique Offerings of Each Vendor
IoT has revolutionized many industrial sectors to a great extent; hence, there are so many IoT platforms out there that it becomes a tough task to choose the best. After initial research, you will probably have to focus on a handful of them.
Interview each IoT vendor separately to know what makes them different from others and the bouquet of services they offer and whether they would suit your requirements. If you are looking for extensive computing and storage capabilities, the vendor must be able to provide that.
For example, if your vendor tells you that they provide the no coding technique to build apps, understand that they are not very unique, because almost every platform offers the facility. But then when the vendor tells you that their platform can automatically see, recognize and interact with “ things”, and project real time information, then that could be worth considering.
The unique offerings of each platform is the hardest factor to consider, but the most important one too.
2. The Compatibility of the Vendor
The platform should easily integrate with your backend system. And apart from the interoperability between devices, there should be strong communication between appliances and external systems. It should also allow you to use APIs or Application Program Interfaces to interact and share data with other firms.
3. The Bandwidth
In normal cases, there is a termination capacity and connectivity from cloud platform to devices that has limited bandwidth connectivity, probably caused by infrastructure limitation. This could be because the IoT platforms are run over public cloud platforms like Google Cloud and AWS. Low latency and high bandwidth networking is required for efficient moving of information and communication between processing components.
4. A Platform with Partner Ecosystem
Cloud partner ecosystem is something you need to consider while choosing a platform. This depends on the value offered by the partner (domain expertise, cloud experience, strategic vision, etc.) and the extent of its offering (both software and hardware offerings).
This is what usually differentiates cloud platforms among each other. If you categorize their ecosystem, you can say they come in four varieties of vendors:
Pioneers - Their value added services and offerings are often complete, and a shift to the cloud is easy. They also provide custom development work, audits, data migration, ongoing training and support.
Builders - Experts in cloud, and works for clients who need strategic and transformative work; and they provide something beyond cloud guidance, including help for highly complex work.
Transactors - They have huge catalogs of hardware and software licenses, and they provide them in bulk, at the best prices; but their services are limited. And they don’t have the technical or domain expertise that’s required.
Specialists - They operate on niche industries with highly specialized platforms. But their value and offerings will be limited.
5. Capability to Convert Data into Actionable Insights
In other words, this is the capacity of the platform to do data analytics. The reason why we have connected devices is that they can collect big data around products, businesses, customers and workflows and use this data to make business decisions or new launches.
Converting data into actionable insights is crucial because of the monstrosity of the data that’s coming in. As data continuously comes in from all the sensors and connected devices, a huge amount of data remains untapped, under-utilized.
It is only when the enterprises can analyze the data from devices and combine with other types of business data, will it help uncover insights.
It is also advisable to use platforms that can perform complex data analysis. This helps them to address a range of challenges as well including predicting failures (of your products), prescribing remedies, detecting failure patterns, modeling correlations etc.
Apart from these, there are other factors that necessitate serious consideration. Like for example, what are the IoT protocols in which the platform is compatible with. If there is no vendor compatibility, then the whole system will get affected. Compatibility is so important while acquiring data from the equipments and sensors.
Similarly, you need to find out which all IoT devices you will be able to control through the platform. It is, thus, advisable to ask the vendor for a list of compatible devices before you finalize on any platform.
Consider all these points and dig deeper into their capabilities while short listing your IoT platform, and make a wise choice.