The IoT can be described as “Connecting the Things to internet”.
A comprehensive IoT ecosystem consists of many different parts such as electronic circuitry, sensing and acting capability, embedded systems, edge computing, network protocols, communication networks, cloud computing, big data management and analytics, business rules etcetera. This maze of varied parts can be better classified into 4 broad categories:
IoT devices are capable of sensing the environment and then act upon the instructions that they receive.
These devices consist of sensors and actuators connected to the machines and electronic environment. The electronic environment of device may pre-process data sensed from the sensor and then send it to IoT platform. This electronic environment can often also post-process the data or instruction received from the IoT platform before passing them to actuators for further action.
The second key part of the IoT system is connectivity. This involves connecting the devices to the IoT platform to send data sensed by the devices and receive instructions from the platform.
Electronic environment of the device has capability to connect over internet directly or via internet gateways. For connecting to the internet directly there are multiple wired and wireless communication protocols, including some that use low powered communication networks. The devices which connect via internet gateway, generally communicate over short range radio frequency protocols or wired protocols. The internet gateway in turn further communicates with IoT platform over long range radio frequency protocols.
One of the key elements & challenge of connectivity is security. IoT system introduces lot of data exchange interfaces between IoT devices, gateways, IoT platform, integrated enterprise solutions, and visualization tools. Connection between these interfaces must safeguard the input and output data in transit.
IoT platform is the brain of an IoT system. It is responsible for efficiently receiving the data ingested from the devices, then analysing that data in real-time and storing it for history building and for further processing in future. It also provides services to remotely monitor, control and manage the devices.
The Platform routes the data to other integrated enterprise systems based on the business rules available in the system and provides the services to visualize the data on multiple connected tools such as web interfaces, mobile and wearables. Finally, it aggregates the information to the context of the users so that the user gets the right information at right time.
The advent of IoT has the potential to redefine the business models that would open new opportunities for new sources of revenue, improved margins and higher customer satisfaction.
There are broadly 5 trends in business model innovation: product & service bundling, assured performance, pay as you go, process optimization, predictive and prescriptive maintenance.
IoT systems are complex due to the heterogeneity of technology and business needs. We expect this complexity to continue to increase driven by continuous proliferation of more IoT platforms that will seek to provide technology and business use case specific value proposition.
Irrespective of the nature of the IoT system we believe that a holistic IoT system can be explained as a sum of 4 parts: Devices, Connectivity, Platform and Business Model.
It was originally published at Nagarro Blogs and LinkedIn