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The 3 Indispensable Elements of an IoT Solution

IoT (and the things it can do) is one of the most widely discussed technology topics today: from precision farming to remote health monitoring, smart TVs to energy management systems. IoT is bringing a transformation across industries; it is predicted that by 2019, the IoT market will reach $1 billion. However, it is still a distant dream for most organizations do not yet know how to build a successful IoT solution. Although the use of smart, modern, innovative devices is commonplace, these tend to operate in isolation and not in a dynamic, interconnected world as the best Internet of Things solutions should.

Elements of an IoT Solution:

For organizations looking to move from a disconnected world to a new, connected one where boundaries between hardware and software systems are constantly blurred, there are challenges at every level. These range from overall architecture to device connectivity, and data security to user interaction. Also, it’s easy to get lost in the maze of standards, technology options, and product capabilities. If you’re looking to build a successful IoT solution, there are the 3 indispensable elements:

  1. Hardware: The hardware you choose impacts your IoT solution in a variety of ways: device cost, capabilities, user experience, and more. Hence, choosing the right hardware is imperative to the success of your IoT solution. Start by identifying the kind of problem you are trying to solve. Next, make a list of likely solutions and use cases. And lastly, determine where and what degree of personalization you would require. Platforms like Raspberry Pi offer an entire Linux computing platform with USB, HDMI, and Ethernet port connectivity for building a top-notch IoT solution. Hardware platforms like these enable you to:
    1. Build custom chip designs and directly integrate sensors within the chip.
    2. Drive sufficient power efficiency, with an appropriate form-factor, and ruggedness.
    3. Integrate complex onboard analytics to run complex algorithms.
    4. Wire the chip such that only relevant information is sent to the cloud.
    5. Enable design modularity to accommodate future hardware upgrades and ensure maximum scalability and ROI.
  2. Software: Although the hardware is an important element of any IoT solution, it cannot by itself deliver results. For that, the device must be loaded with APIs and software development kits that let you build cutting-edge IoT solutions. It can be said that any IoT solution is only as good as the software that binds it. AWS IoT for instance, allows you to connect devices, secure data and interactions, process and act upon device data, and enable offline device interaction. Robust IoT software platforms like these allow you to:
    1. Integrate several capabilities and features into one solution.
    2. Build a high level of security and ensure strict software quality measures.
    3. Continuously monitor and review the code to avoid any failure.
    4. Build scalability and flexibility as per the need.
    5. Collect and manage data and enable analytics and visualization.
    6. Enable remote connections to all devices in the ecosystem.
  3. Cloud: The main aim of any IoT solution is to connect and allow communication between devices, people, and business and operational processes. Since IoT devices generate massive amounts of data, and the analysis and processing of that data need to be completed quickly and easily, managing the flow and storage of this data is a herculean task. Cloud computing with its different models and implementation platforms plays a very important role in enabling seamless communication. Google Cloud IoT offers a fully managed and integrated set of services for easy capture, management, and analysis of IoT data from globally dispersed devices on a large scale. Cloud computing platforms like these enable you to:
    1. Optimize investments in extensive hardware and management of physical network and infrastructure.
    2. Speed up the development process and cut down on costs.
    3. Manage and analyze data instantly and enhance the overall efficiency and functioning of your IoT solution.
    4. Enable application development portability and interoperability across the ecosystem.
    5. Gather data from the IoT device, transmit to the cloud, analyze it, and provide it back to the end-user in the form of actionable information.
    6. Scale up the infrastructure, depending on your needs, without setting up any additional hardware.
    7. Enable remote device life-cycle management including device registration, updates, and diagnosis.

Establish the Right Strategy:

IoT presents enormous opportunities for virtually every business; according to IDC, three industries that are expected to spend the most on IoT in 2018 are manufacturing ($189 billion), transportation ($85 billion), and utilities ($73billion). It’s fair to assume that a variety of other industries will follow suit in short order. The onus of a successful IoT solution lies entirely on the ecosystem it is built upon. This is a complex undertaking and requires careful consideration of each of the 3 main factors to provide a great experience for the end-user. With the right strategy in place, you can open the door to smart analytics, application management, and data security, to successfully ride the IoT wave.

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