Foundational IoT Core Principles

March 20th, 2019 by

IoT (internet of things) is valuable because it provides a new view into any business system and reveals actionable insights that previously were largely invisible.  To uncover these valuable insights, the right IoT core principles must be applied in order for businesses to benefit maximally by implementing IoT strategies. These principles include; scale, agility, security and cost. The goal is to have agile IoT core solutions that can be scaled to achieve exponential growth while managing costs and utilizing secure computing infrastructure.

IoT Core Principles

Agility

Companies adopt IoT solutions in order to identify opportunities to make a system more efficient or even to create new information-based products.  Insights are gleaned by using reliable remote diagnostics, sensor data, remote commands and control between devices and their users. Once a company gathers these data and applies some metrics, it can exploit a wide range of business hypotheses in line with its IoT data. For instance, manufacturers can design predictive analytics solutions that test, measure and tune product cycle maintenance with time. However, for a company to fully exploit the IoT strategies and gain a competitive advantage over its competitors, it must invest in a wide range of IT tools that promote interoperability within a heterogeneous mix of devices and IoT solutions.

Scalability

Apart from the exponential growth among connected devices, every IoT aspect communicates different data packets that thrive under durable storage and reliable connectivity. Previously, IT departments would purchase extra hardware and maintain overprovisioned and underutilized capacity in a bid to handle telemetry.   Most solutions focus on Cloud computing as the resource that consolidates all the data and executes predictive analytics to generate new business insights.  To ship all the data to the cloud, IoT requires an organization to monitor, manage and secure different network connections from the dispersed and connected devices. IoT core solutions require the ability to scale globally across different physical locations. As such, they ought to be deployed in different physical locations in order to meet set global business objectives like data compliance, low communication latency and data sovereignty.  The most successful implementations now recognize that the endpoint controller or edge device is capable of doing some of the pre-processing or even some analysis and this dramatically improves the scalability of the ability to generate actionable insights that can improve the business.

Cost

In most cases, the value of an IoT core solution is determined by the contextual and telemetric data generated and sent from different devices. At first glance, setting up on-premise infrastructure seems like it would require upfront capital to purchase the hardware, however, the industry is exploding with cloud vendors that support an IoT strategy that is implemented to leverage the scalable and elastic cloud platform.   And to defray costs further, IoT Solutions that can run analytics on the edge controller eliminate need for additional cloud processing.  Often, the edge controllers have extra processing capacity, so why not use it?  Of course, that means the controller needs to be PC-based but most are these days.

Security

The foundation of any IoT core solution begins and ends with security. Security is always a pervasive design requirement for devices that send large amounts of sensitive data where IoT applications’ end users also have the ability to control devices directly. Every IoT core solution layer should have security controls and models that can be monitored and iterated. Factors like; lifecycle of a physical device, constrained sensors, actuators, embedded libraries and microcontroller’s hardware are capable of limiting IoT security capabilities.  Again, using a PC based controller on Windows for instance, companies can ride the coattails of the security efforts at Microsoft.

Summary

The promise of IoT is to drive the creation of value for the customer by revealing new insights about the business model or business system.  Successful IoT implementations should be address the need for agility, scalability, cost and security.  In the end, only software-based a smart edge controller that executes on an industry PC offers the best platform for addressing these requirements and delivering on the promise of IoT.

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