Embarking on an IoT project? Choosing the right cloud IoT platform is filled with pressing questions. How do you align the platform with your project’s goals, whether it’s for a consumer-focused device or industrial automation? What are the preferences of your end-users, and how do these shape your platform choice? For those eyeing the industrial sector, should you develop a custom IoT solution or integrate it into an established platform’s ecosystem?
Each decision – from connectivity to data management – shapes your project and determines its market success. Here, we will try to dive into these considerations, helping you navigate the IoT cloud providers landscape to find a platform that’s just the right fit for your project’s present needs and future ambitions.
The Role And Benefits
In our opinion, Internet of Things cloud platforms are no longer optional. They are a fundamental part of a business’s toolkit. These platforms revolutionize business models and operational strategies, driving innovation and competitive edge. Let’s take a brief look at some real-world examples.
Consider Bosch, which transformed its manufacturing processes through the integration of its IoT Suite into cloud-based operations. This move was a strategic turn towards a future where manufacturing decisions are informed by real-time data analysis. This capability allowed Bosch to enhance agility in decision-making and streamline their production lines, setting a new benchmark in manufacturing efficiency.
This technological evolution is not confined to manufacturing alone. Tesla’s journey in the automotive sector mirrors this transformation. Adopting a cloud-first approach in software management allowed them to redefine the concept of vehicle functionality. Unlike traditional automotive manufacturing, where a car’s capabilities are fixed at purchase, Tesla’s model allows continuous evolution through instant software updates. This approach represents a radical shift, where the vehicle you buy today is not the same as it will be tomorrow, thanks to the power of cloud IoT.
The retail giant Walmart also embraced this tech wave, leveraging cloud IoT for a proactive approach to inventory management. By syncing real-time inventory data across all locations, Walmart transformed a traditionally reactive process into a dynamic, data-driven strategy. This shift enhances efficiency and aligns closely with customer needs, which could probably be impossible without IoT cloud adoption.
As you can see, there is a common thread: each company recognized the transformative potential of cloud-based Internet of Things platforms. By integrating this technology into their core operations, they achieved enhanced efficiency, agility, and customer responsiveness.
What is The Key When Choosing an IoT Platform?
In simple words, when it comes to picking the right IoT platform, it’s all about balancing what’s technically possible with what’s good for your business. And you need to evaluate all these factors for the success of your IoT projects.
At its core, an IoT platform should do a few key things really well: connect and manage your devices, keep your data safe, analyze that data, and help you build and manage applications.
- Handling Data and Performance: It’s essential that the platform can deal with a lot of IoT data coming in from many devices without slowing down.
- Safety and Backup Plans: With so many connected devices, one security slip-up could put your whole system at risk. That’s why having a platform with strong security measures and a solid backup plan for emergencies is important.
- Working with Different Devices and Systems: Your platform should be able to work with various devices and systems. This means it can ‘talk’ different tech languages, making it easier to add new types of devices in the future.
Choosing the right platform is a team effort. It needs input from both the tech experts who understand the details and the higher-ups who see the big picture. It’s like getting engineers and city planners together to make a big decision:
- Support from the Provider: The company providing your IoT platform is a partner in this journey. Their expertise and help are precious, especially if you’re new to IoT.
- Growing with Your Business: The platform you choose should be able to grow with your business. The platform should handle it without a hitch if you start with a few devices and expand to thousands.
- Costs Now and Later: Understand the costs of the platform, not just at the start but also down the line. It’s like planning a budget, considering the initial and ongoing expenses.
- Matching with Your Team’s Skills: The platform should be something your team can use comfortably, without needing to learn a lot of new stuff. Otherwise, it will extend your expenses exponentially. At the early start, it’s better to make sure the tools you use are ones you’re already good at using.
All these elements are just a base from which you need to start to make a decision when picking an IoT platform. It’s all about finding one that not only meets your needs right now but will also support your goals in the long run. Up next, we’ll dive into a rating of the best IoT platforms to give you insights that will help you make this important choice.
Who Took The Lead and Why?
From our point of view, certain cloud-based platforms for IoT have emerged as frontrunners, each bringing unique strengths to the table. To help you see the whole picture, we created a rating based on an independent assessment of each aspect mentioned above. And this is how we did it:
- Initial insights based on our internal team’s practical experience with a big list of IoT platforms, focusing on features, performance, and scalability.
- Analysis of articles, whitepapers, and reports from industry authorities, ensuring information reliability and relevance.
- Evaluation of public customer reviews and case studies to gauge real-world IoT applications, challenges, and user satisfaction.
- Official documentation review, product updates, and technical specifications to assess each platform’s capabilities.
- Examination of market trends, industry adoption rates, and growth projections to understand the platforms’ market positioning.
- Surveys and interviews with users for firsthand feedback on user experience and business applicability.
- Comparative study of features, pricing, and performance against competitors to identify unique strengths and weaknesses.
We analyzed AWS IoT Core, Azure IoT Hub, Google Cloud IoT, Cisco Connect Cloud, IBM Watson, Salesforce CRM, IoT Oracle Cloud. And here are the results:
Top 7 Cloud-Based IOT Platforms: Sirin Software Rankings
Is There a Place for Customized Platforms?
Every industry has different needs in the IoT world, so a standard solution isn’t always enough. Custom IoT platforms are vital for businesses seeking specific, efficient, cost-effective solutions. Customization means making an IoT solution that fits exactly what you need. It starts with understanding the company’s goals and challenges, and then creating a platform that tackles these issues.
Custom platforms are flexible. They easily blend with existing systems and can change as the business grows. This keeps them useful and relevant over time. They also let businesses use the right sensors, devices, and software for their operations. This targeted approach improves efficiency and data quality. Security is another plus. Custom platforms can include specific security measures and data handling methods that meet industry standards.
The decision to opt for a customized IoT platform involves a careful evaluation of costs and benefits. Initially, developing a custom solution may require a higher investment than adopting a standard platform. However, this should be weighed against the long-term benefits.
Customized IoT cloud solutions can lead to significant cost savings in the long run. Addressing specific business needs and eliminating unnecessary features ensure that resources are not wasted on irrelevant functionalities. Custom platforms can also lead to operational efficiencies, reducing the time and cost associated with managing and maintaining the IoT ecosystem.
The rising costs of standard cloud platforms for IoT over a decade can be boiled down to a few key reasons:
- Routine Price Hikes: Costs often go up due to inflation, higher operating expenses, or market changes. This isn’t unusual in service industries.
- Growth-Linked Costs: More cloud server usage as a business expands means higher bills. This includes things like data storage and processing.
- Extra Services: Businesses might need more from their cloud provider over time, like better security or analytics, which adds to the cost.
- End of Discount Periods: Early deals for new customers eventually run out, leading to steeper prices later on.
- Compliance Expenses: Bigger businesses face more rules, requiring them to buy extra features for compliance and security.
- Provider Dependence: As businesses rely more on their provider’s tech and cloud-based services, switching or negotiating becomes tough, often leading to cost increases.
On the flip side, customized IoT cloud platforms often become cheaper over the same period due to:
- Lessening Ongoing Costs: After the initial investment, running costs often drop, thanks to better efficiency and spreading out the initial spend over time.
- Smarter Operations: As the system gets more refined, it uses resources better and integrates more smoothly with existing setups, cutting costs.
- Expertise and Improved Processes: Teams get better at using the platform, leading to faster fixes and smarter workflows, reducing expenses.
- Scalable Design: Custom platforms are built to grow easily, often without big cost jumps. This beats standard platforms that charge more as you use more.
- Less Vendor Reliance: Being independent of external IoT vendors means avoiding their price hikes and subscription fees.
- Strategic Fit: Custom platforms are tailored to a business’s needs, ensuring better resource use and more value for money over time.
- Focused Security and Compliance: Custom platforms can be built to match specific security needs, avoiding costly breaches or non-compliance issues.
In the case when you are confident that in the next 10 years your business will not only exist but also develop, it becomes clear that partnering with experts specializing in custom IoT platform development is often the smarter choice. This approach leverages specialized knowledge, aligns closely with specific goals, and can be more cost-effective in the long run, compared to using existing solution or trying to develop it in-house.
Sirin Software: Your Trusted Partner
We understand that IoT is not always one-size-fits-all, and specialize in creating customized IoT solutions that are efficient, cost-effective, and tailored to meet the specific needs of each business. We dive deep into understanding your business’s unique challenges and objectives. This thorough approach makes our IoT solutions functional and perfectly aligned with your operational goals. Our strength lies in our flexibility – our IoT developments integrate smoothly with your existing infrastructure and can adapt as your business evolves.
Our success is highlighted in projects like our collaboration with a global leader in IoT connectivity, where we optimized a high-load cloud solution for increased efficiency and scalability. In case you want to know how exactly we did it and what obstacles our team had to overcome in detail, here is our journey to 5 million requests per minute within the IoT cloud platform. Also, with Sirin Software, you get more than development services. We are committed to supporting you throughout your IoT journey, offering comprehensive end-to-end assistance.
In our journey through this article, we’ve seen how the right cloud-based IoT platform can be a game-changer for businesses. From global giants to small businesses, the right IoT solution can redefine efficiency and innovation. Despite the market being filled with the most famous cloud-based IoT platforms, custom solutions still hold their ground, offering tailored strategies for complex business needs, and it’s up to you to decide which way to choose. We’ve also provided a thorough rating of the most powerful cloud-based IoT platforms, giving you insights to make this choice more informed. Looking ahead, we believe that the integration of AI and sustainable practices in IoT heralds an exciting future for technology in our professional and personal lives.