Defining IoT
Simply speaking, IoT refers to a massive distributed network or mesh of connected, intelligent devices as well as other digital entities that work together. The confluence of nearly ubiquitous wireless & internet connectivity, low-cost sensor technologies, high-scale cloud services, and high levels of smart mobile device adoption is helping fuel its tremendous rate of growth. IoT systems generate a prodigious amount of data that needs to be received, stored, and often analyzed in near real-time.

Benefits of IoT
IoT provides huge opportunities for businesses to transform themselves by offering new growth opportunities, higher levels of efficiency, reduced waste, greater reliability, and much deeper relationships with customers. It will enable businesses to deliver a whole host of new experiences to customers, increase the level of automation, understand the state of their business and their customers in real-time, dramatically reduce their response times, and make more accurate predictions about the future state. IoT has massive potential to transform and improve how we work and live.

Success Factors
Some keys to a successful IoT solution are:

  • Top-notch security designed into the system with continuous auditing and threat detection capabilities.
  • Right choices of device and IoT platforms that facilitates seamless integration and agile development.
  • Automated discovery, provisioning, servicing and management of edge devices.
  • Robust system designed for offline behavior at the edge along with real-time monitoring, rich diagnostics, and self-healing capabilities.
  • Careful design of data storage and data management needs across the edge and the cloud IoT hub.
  • Rich analytics system spanning the edge and the cloud that extracts actionable insights from the data.

Key Aspects

iot-architectureThe main components comprising a typical IoT solution are indicated in the accompanying figure and described below.

End Devices & Device Gateway
Sensors and low-power devices that typically communicate with an on-site device gateway which then connects over the Internet with the IoT foundation platform.

IoT Foundation Platform or Hub
A cloud-based IoT platform that handles device provisioning, security, authentication, and registry; device monitoring and control; as well as collection and storage of vast quantities of remote data from the IoT devices.

Analytics & Machine Learning System
A cloud-based analytics system which processes the device telemetry to find true business value through real-time pattern and anomaly detection, predictive analytics, and extraction of insights used to enhance outcomes.

Visualization System & UX
A rich experience which enables the users to visualize the analyzed device data in interesting views and interact with the overall IoT system and devices.

Business & App Integration Back-end
A back-end system which enables integration of the IoT solution with existing line-of-business applications and business processes or workflows in the cloud or on-premises.