This article aims to clear up some complexity and shed light on one of the criteria you should use to evaluate the IoT Platform that will suit your business needs.
Let us start with clarifying what the IoT platform is.
What is an IoT Platform?
In its core, an IoT Platform is a vital component of the IoT ecosystem. It’s a suite of software that helps users gather remote data more efficiently and maintain control over connected devices. In other words, it’s a mediator that communicates with a variety of things and applications, transforms real-time readings into meaningful data and combines different devices and services into a complete IoT solution.
Choosing the Right IoT Platform
However, having an insight into what an IoT Platform is, isn’t much of a help when deciding upon which IoT Platform will bring the most significant value to your business.
Whether you are a tech maker, an experienced developer, a small business owner or a senior executive, there must be thousands of questions swarming in your head once you start thinking about which Platform to choose for your IoT solution. We must admit that evaluating the performance of 500 IoT platforms that are currently on the market is a time-consuming and challenging process.
To help you with the decision-making process, we did a bit of research on what criteria you should focus.
One of the starting points is: Should you build your IoT solution on top of an IoT Platform as a product (PaaP) or do you need an IoT platform as a service (PaaS)?
Five Criteria When Comparing PaaP over PaaS
There are a few essential criteria that you need to consider when comparing the two:
- Independence: Do you want to own a product around which you can build your IoT solution or do you want to rent a service which will run this part of your business instead of you?
- Pricing Plan - Features: Do you need all the features bundled in one product licence or do you want to buy separate licences for the features you need?
- Pricing plan - Scalability: Are you ready to pay for enlarging the potential of your system (for example, more devices connected, users added, messages and API requests sent) or do you need to scale without additional costs?
- Deployment: Are you ok with your Platform running on a vendor’s Cloud server or do you need to deploy it in the Cloud of your choice or on your own premises?
- Transparency: To what extent do you wish to know, control and manage your system?
IoT Platform as a Service
Independence: When choosing a PaaS, you are renting the core of your solution.
Pricing Plan - Features: This type of service usually involves numerous licences for a variety of features.
Pricing plan - Scalability: The cost of using PaaS is usually associated with the number of connected devices, added users, sent API requests, and similar. This means that the price will increase as your solution scales, raising the question: How much will it cost you to rent the PaaS at this moment and how much in five or twenty years?
Deployment: PaaS is deployed in a third-party Cloud of a vendor’s choice. As a result, you as a customer can’t keep your data under full control, and you can’t be sure where the gathered data is stored, whether it is secure or not and if you can even trust it.
Transparency: Since the Cloud infrastructure is entirely owned, managed and monitored by the service provider, you have a minimum control. You are black-boxed, meaning you can only control and manage the end-user applications and services operated on top of that, not the backend infrastructure itself.
IoT Platform as a Product
Independence: In the PaaP case, an instance of the Platform is handed over to you as a buyer in the form of a binary code, image or docker files, and you can use it as a piece of software around which you are building your IoT solution. By becoming its sole owner, you receive the highest level of independence, as well as control over scalability, security and privacy. Put simply, once you buy the Platform instance, you own it, and the data stays solely yours.
Pricing Plan - Features: You don’t have to buy a bunch of licences for different features. PaaP is available in the form of a perpetual licence, with all features bundled in one product. It is a fully transparent model, with no hidden costs.
Pricing plan - Scalability: As previously said, PaaP model allows you to scale how much you want, as fast as you want, without being charged additionally per devices, data and users. It is a one-off cost which releases you from complex calculations.
Deployment: This model provides you with the full freedom of deployment - you can deploy the Platform anywhere you want, whether it is public or private Cloud or your own premises. You can even choose a hybrid approach.
Transparency: PaaP usually enables transparency to your development team through the free trial and out-of-the-box client apps, open web and MQTT APIs, connectivity and client libraries, as well as SDKs and code examples.
So, Why Should You Choose an IoT Platform as a Product?
When choosing an IoT Platform, there are many roads you can take. WolkAbout IoT Platform will get you on the right track by allowing you to:
- Have full ownership of the Platform and your data
- Use complete feature set needed to build your IoT solution without having to buy a bunch of licences
- Scale without being charged additionally
- Deploy it anywhere you want
- Get hands-on experience with a free trial
- Use the out-of-the-box web and mobile (iOS & Android) apps to manage the Platform functionalities with simple clicks and drag & drops, and have a chance for fast and safe prototyping and figuring out what is going to work or not
Since there are numerous kinds of software and different types of devices and connectivity, there must be a way of making everything work together seamlessly. WolkAbout IoT Platform will help you achieve that while providing you with a complete control over your business ecosystem.
Focus on the business value you want to create and differentiate yourself from the competition by using our WolkAbout IoT Platform.
Get some hands-on experience and an insight into how WolkAbout IoT Platform can help you build your IoT solution by trying it for free at https://demo.wolkabout.com/.