IoT is the next big thing in the business world and if you have made up your mind about getting your business on board with IoT, you are headed in the right direction. The question now is whether you should make use of an IoT platform or create your own IoT solution. The answer to that question will depend on your specific business requirements, but just to float an opinion, most businesses are better off with an IoT platform that can do the heavy lifting, while the business itself, can focus on its core value proposition.
The Basic Difference
An IoT platform is a full-fledged solution that a company has already developed, covering all aspects of IoT integration right from inter-device communications to data collection and analytics. From adding new features to fixing bugs and rolling out updates, the IoT platform takes care of it all. Creating a DIY IoT solution yourself would mean that you would need to use your own research, experience and resources to create a solution that lets all your products communicate with each other, and process all of those millions of messages and data yourself. You would need a highly trained, specifically skilled team in-house to help you take care of just the IoT part. Now, unless you already have the requisite skills or such a team, you may not want to shift the focus from your core value to the creation of an IoT solution. Creating an IoT solution from scratch would cost you time, money and quality. Here are some of the factors you should consider before deciding if you should go with an IoT platform or build a DIY solution:
Time to Market
If your goal is to ship an IoT ready product, your entire product launch will have to wait until the IoT systems are fully functional. In-house IoT systems can typically take anywhere between 6 to 12 months to complete, and that is without any major setbacks. That’s how long you will have to keep the entire assembly line waiting, while your competitors hop on to an IoT platform and jump right ahead to the next step. Using a platform brings down your time to market drastically, keeping you ahead in the game.
You may have to hire a team of in-house IoT professionals or train your existing tech teams on IoT. And do bear in mind that IoT is a fairly nuanced technology that requires a high level training and skills. Training or hiring new professionals will be a time intensive process with a high price tag. You need a minimum of three to five people to not just build but also secure and maintain you IoT solution.
Scalability is one of the most important factors you need to think of when deploying an IoT solution. As your business grows, the volume of data will grow. The number of messages being exchanged will grow, as will the traffic, complexity and workload.
Having a platform means that the platform will have to worry about scaling up when need be. Building your own custom IoT solution will mean that the in-house team will have to keep scaling up as the business needs grow. The team will have to seamlessly manage increased workload right from batch processing and real-time streaming to fixing issues and rebuilding if need be.
Privacy and Security
With the proliferation of IoT, security threats have a much larger surface area to play with. Keeping your products and devices secure from malware is a consuming task that requires great detail to attention. IoT platforms have the expertise and resources required to keep the entire platform secured. Building your own would require that you invest heavily in the security of your IoT solution too. Any slip in the security cold mean major repercussions to your business, a risk not worth taking for a serious consumer facing business.
Data collection and analysis
IoT involves huge volumes of data that are transmitted every day. All of this data can yield actionable insight only when high quality analytical tools are used. Once again, a full-fledged IoT platform has the tools to extract relevant insights from the reams of data, while building your own solution would mean you need to do the intensive research for finding the right analytical service from the different ones available in the market. You also need to develop ways to store, secure and protect all that data on your own. Plus, if the analytics aren’t top notch, all the effort of developing the IoT solution would do you little good after all.
So if you are in the kind of business where you already have skilled people experienced on IoT, and can afford to set aside a team just to build, deploy and maintain your custom IoT solution, you could consider a DIY IoT solution. If you need to work on strengthening your core offering instead, like making the most innovative TV or car for instance, you should spend all your time and money there, and allow an IoT platform to handle the rest. With professional expertise, experience and resources dedicated to developing and maintain IoT solutions, these platforms make sure your business reaps the benefits of IoT to the maximum.
Author Bio:- Almeda Brook is a freelance writer for MoveoApps, her skillfulness is writing about technology, business and digital marketing. Previously, she worked as a Content Marketing Strategist at a software startup. She graduated with honors with a dual degree in Business Administration and Creative Writing.