Which IoT Platform is Right for Me?

If you’re looking for an IoT platform that can connect to network devices and can provide a hosted infrastructure to cost effectively and securely manage and route data, there are ten important criteria you need to consider.

Your IoT Platform should seamlessly connect remote sensors with devices and the platform with end-user applications. It should provide a central aggregation service to which all remote gateways and devices attach. It should have automated detection. Devices should utilize a secure integration protocol to send and retrieve data in a variety of ways. Let’s Jump In:

1. Security

Knowing the technical security of the platform is not enough. Does the team operating platform follow industry standard security controls? Are the controls enforced with active monitoring tools and verified with policy-compliant and certified audits? At the least, the platform should provide TLS (transport level security) to interface with devices and applications and authenticate devices and users. You might also want to check into what authorization capabilities exist, what type of data lifecycle management is used, whether the data is stored encrypted, and if security audit documents are available.

2. Reliability

The device connection mechanism must be inviolable. The system must operate as an entity and should not require human intervention. The platform must be robust and must be scalable. Users should be able to add more and more devices without additional infrastructure planning.

3. Scalability

Your IoT Platform should be able to accommodate the growth of your IoT project by making it easy to add new devices.

4. Flexibility

Your IoT Platform should be able to interface with third party tools and applications or provide its own analytics. There must be an industry standard application interface for web developers to allow you to communicate all types of data securely while sending and retrieving data to external applications.

5. User-Interface

Intuitive. Simple. Data at a glance at scale. Users should be able to change device configuration settings, transfer files, update firmware, and automate processes so that changes can take place on a time-table. The UI should be logical without the need for lengthy tutorials or documentation.

6. Customization

An IoT platform should offer a wide range of data visualization tools with options to fine-tune displays and present data effectively. Without modifying the core of the IoT service, users should have the tools to make the platform work for their needs.

7. Protocols

What protocols do you need your IoT platform to support? Find a platform that supports the de-facto IoT standard, MQTT, along with other popular protocols such as WebSockets and REST API.

8. Hardware-agnostic

Hardware is constantly improving with new devices coming out all the time. The majority of IoT devices run operating systems which give them the flexibility to run programs written in any language. Applications must be able to run on efficient resource consumption. Check to see which devices the platform supports and ensure it can support low-end devices and lightweight protocols such as MQTT.

9. Support

Does the IoT platform provide support? What type of support is offered and is the company able to develop custom features and operate on the behalf of their clients? How often is the platform updated or upgraded? If you were to call their hotline or send an email, would you be able to speak to a real person?

10. Cost

Most open-source platforms are free to use but may have bugs and only offer forum-based, community support. On the other end of the spectrum, many IoT platforms are expensive and suited to enterprise-level solutions.

Which payment model does your platform use?

  • Pay per Message
  • Pay per Device/Year
  • Pay per Active Device
  • Pay for Premium Features

Pay for Support

Ensure that you have a clear IoT use-case in mind before making the jump and paying for an IoT platform. You should find a service which offers you the right amount of support for a price you can pay and recover later on in ROI.

In Sum

IoT Platforms can make it simple to manage incoming data and visualize it in a way which enables companies to make informed decisions. Picking the right platform will save you time and money down the road. At uBeac, we want to help you find the best IoT solutions. We are available to direct you to the solution that fits your use case. Get in touch with us at info@ubeac.io or fill out the contact form below.

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