The term IoT (Internet of all things), is the brainchild of Kevin Asthon, a British Radio frequency identification, scientist. However, little did he know that, this connection of sensors which bridge the internet with physical world, will be life transforming. We are experiencing an exponential growth in the size of internet umbrella, encompassing every connected devicearound the world. The termIoT, can be synthesized to get Internet, connectivity and devices.
The main value however, lies in closing the gap between these three components, in a self-improving manner. This is where a careful study on different IoTplatforms is all the more necessary. It would help us choose, the platform suitable for our requirement.
By the end of the decade the IoT platform market, will reach over a billion dollar in revenue, which simply suggest that, organizations will be spoiled for choices, while selecting the suitable platform for their business needs. Every internet enabled device and applications would be based on the IoT platform, whose complexity is changingrapidly. There are basically four different types of platform, which requires a thorough understanding.
Connectivity/M2M platforms- These platforms are based on the telecommunication networks, which are used as connectivity tool for IoT devices. M2M stands for machine to machine information exchange. Internet device or objects, which are used to exchange data, without human intervention.
IaaSbackends- Infrastructureas a service platform provides larger hosting spaces and betterprocessing power for applications and programs. High level API provided by online services, are used for references for underlying network. IaaS cloud providers are known to provide these on demand resources from their large data centers. The billing of this platform is typically on as is basis, where the cost component reflects the amount of resources allocated versus consumed.
Hardware specific software platform – There are organizations, who sells devices along with it custom made software. They would like to name it as a platform, which is debatable by today’s standards.
Consumer/Enterprise software extension - Some already established operating system and software packagemanufacturers, keeps provision of connecting IoT devices. These provisions do not really fit the definition of a full grown platform, but with modifications may soon get there.
Therefore, in today’s context, organizations must be careful enough in choosing its technology partner or for that matter technology. There are eight components or dimensions to a modern IoT platform, which should be carefully studied.
Connectivity and normalization – This component does bring about different computer protocols and data formats into a single gamut of software, which enables accurate and fast data streaming and integration with other IoTdevices.
Database – Contemporary definition and limitation of a database has given rise to cloud based hybrid database, which can handle larger volume and more complex data. The same can be accessible from any part of the globe, with the help of internet.
Device management –This is an important component of a platform, which keep the same running uninterruptedly, by running auto update and running patches timely.
External Interface – These are platform in built Application program interface, used to connect with third party systems and other IT landscape devices. It also connects software development kits and other gateways.
Additional tools – These are used to develop prototypes for better visualization of the platform capabilities before the final launch of the system. With these any flaw in the connected device can be rectified easily, in no time.
Data Visualizations – Testers use them to see patterns or trends of data traffic.
Platform Analytics – Is extremely useful for predictive threat analysis, for which the data is derived from the machine learning function and other IoT data stream.
Processing of data and its management of action – With the help of smart sensors, intelligent event based outcome trigger mechanisms are placed, which does automatic security clearances. The platform architecture is of the inbuilt security type, which changes the entire security landscape and minimizes the event of cyber-attacks.
However, with the growing complexity of cyber space, no single IoT platform will be able to fulfill the requirement, other than the ones with interoperability. It is basically the ability to process and exchange information automatically, without any hindrances, between two systems or platforms.