Choosing an IoT platform is an important step in your IoT application development process. Platforms handle common functions like computing power, storage and security, freeing up your application developers to focus on the specific problem they are solving.
Choosing the best platform for your solution can be challenging, as the market is flooded with IoT PaaS (Platform as a Service) vendors, and finding one that’s right for your business will significantly reduce the cost of developing and maintaining your applications. Here are some aspects to consider when choosing an IoT platform:
Your IoT application will have distinct security requirements. You may need to store data on premise for regulatory or security reasons, or you may be restricted to cloud services that store data in specific countries. Consider the security of both data held in the cloud (or on premise) and data held on remote devices. IoT platforms vary, with different levels of encryption, access management, or authentication being provided. Choose a platform that has the levels of security required to meet your needs.
According to Gartner, completeness of vision and ability to execute are great indicators of a mature platform. How long has the platform been around? Does it have a proven track record? Does the platform come with comprehensive device management features? Mature platforms should have deep analytical capabilities, remote management, per-device authentication, and interoperable technology.
If your sensors (at the edge) are producing a lot of data, you’ll want to avoid the overhead of piping that data up to the cloud for processing Or your sensors could be in remote locations, like on ships or underground, where connectivity is difficulty. In these situations you should choose a platform that specialises in edge processing, allowing you to move lightweight applications to the edge. This means that your sensors could detect soil humidity in a field for example, and adjust the operation of irrigation systems locally, without that information having to go to the cloud and back. SAP Leonardo IoT Edge, and IBM Watson are platforms that do this well.
The number of connected devices is going to grow, and it’s going to become more and more complex to handle them. Before choosing a platform, ask the following questions: How many connected nodes are being handled? What is their largest customer installation? How many devices can they manage?
HTTP and IoT messaging are some of the common protocols being supported by IoT platforms. MQTT and AMQPS are also gaining ground, so find a platform that will allow you to alternate protocols as your system evolves and you need to accommodate more devices. The IoT platform you choose should easily be able to support newer protocols, and be able to support on-boarding legacy devices.
Platforms like AWS IoT Core, SAP Cloud Platform Internet of Things and Azure IoT offer a solid basis for application development. At Zoosh, we use these platforms for our enterprise application development, and can be your trusted partner to create intuitive, innovative apps. If you’d like to know more about innovative apps, check out this interactive game we developed to show the possibilities when it comes to innovative app development: