As new enterprise IoT solutions wade into the market, established providers are now remodelling their business models to make them more IoT-driven. As the IoT market grows, choosing an IoT platform or a vendor can be a difficult process. In this article, we shed some talk about areas to focus on before selecting an IoT vendor or solutions provider.
Major Components Of IoT Enterprise System
IoT Enterprise system comprises three major components.
Endpoints that include one or more sensors
Gateways that aggregate data from multiple sensor endpoints and forward it onto the backend services
Backend services where the sensor data is analysed, stored, routed, and displayed
5 Points To Keep In Mind Before Onboarding IoT vendor
1 | Overall Scalability Of The IoT Vendor
Scalability is probably the biggest USP of every IoT platform provider
The scalability factor is one of most significant factors when finalising an IoT platform vendor as the intricacies of handling data increases with the growing number of connected devices along with increased risk and cost associated with hardware
It is important to make sure that the IoT platform provided can tackle the increased data load as you connect with more devices
One should go for a vendor who provides you with a platform that is created to provide scalability and optimal performance for your devices
Continuous insights from the collected data without compromising efficiency must be provided to support millions of devices used with their own technical needs
The increased load on one customer affects others especially when an IoT platform shares the infrastructure with other customers. So, connectivity management, data aggregation and storage, application enablement by using API’s and data control devices must be provided by the IoT vendor
2 | Edge Intelligence In Devices Used By IoT Vendor
The future of IoT platform is moving towards distributed, offline, edge intelligence
The IoT platform must provide edge intelligence capabilities in order to extend the power of the cloud to your mobile and IoT devices
These capabilities are necessary as intelligent edge brings computing power, data, applications, and intelligence to all the places where the data in the system already exists which allows taking decisions based on the local data that they generate to leverage the benefits of the cloud to configure and manage those devices
One must cross-check the quality of backend services provided by IoT vendors as most of them offer in-house services which are less flexible than cloud-based offering which requires heavy IT support
IoT platform must be able to extend its services smoothly and should support newer topologies for conducting decentralised computing
3 | Level of Security & Disaster Recovery In The IoT System
Data security is a major concern when it comes to today’s data-driven marketplace
As sensitive business data is exposed in the system, IoT platform vendor must be future ready for any cyber-attacks or data intrusion by sealing the leaks of an IoT infrastructure from any possible security breach.
Also, one should ensure that the IoT vendor can implement disaster recovery strategies and has a dedicated infrastructure which can manage data efficiently
Unsecured IoT devices are dangerous and to ensure higher availability, the IoT platform should be able to provide failover clusters to take over the workload in case of downtime periods.
IoT platform must have the capability to update every device in an enterprise to keep it secured. It must ensure that there are no default or primary accounts, or passwords and all the internal and external communications must be encrypted
IoT cloud platform provider is also expected to have at least a unique identity-based authentication method for the devices. For example X.509 based certificates. Also, automation tools should be provided to support protocols such as SCEP and CEP for enrolling certificates
The Gateways of the IoT platform should offer SSL and DTLS encryption too and one should also verify the capacity of this platform to handle SSL termination with different ciphers and authentication methods
4 | IoT Architecture, Protocols & Standards Followed
Using a hybrid IoT platform ensures business-critical information is retained on-premises
IoT platform must ensure that it directly or indirectly provides protocol translation
Enterprise IoT platforms should support CoAP and AMQP, in addition to just HTTP and MQTT
IoT PaaS providers must support upgraded versions of these protocols or coming protocols without any hindrance. The platform should be able to also implement custom protocols from the backend
Before finalising the IoT vendor, make sure that the provider has adequate well-trained technical support specialists who can solve and address the issue on time
The IoT platform must be able to assimilate with existing IT architecture of the enterprise hosted on-premise, which is probably hosted on-premises for which hybrid IoT strategies should be used instead of just singular approaches
IoT platform should be able to leverage the computing capabilities of the public cloud when the tasks exceed the workload of the private cloud component
5 | Selecting IoT Platform Business Model Based On Needs
Keeping in mind the economics, the final enterprise solution must fit your business constraints
The payment made must be evaluated as the investment is not just for the development effort made but for the overall feasibility of the product in future
From a business point of view, one should thoroughly gauge the one time or upfront payment made like whether it is recurring monthly or is it an annual payment method
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