3 amazing benefits of the cloud in the IoT

It is not surprising that companies implementing dynamic IoT solutions do so by harnessing the power of cloud computing. However, this may surprise you How cloud computing benefits these IoT initiatives. In the cloud, many speak of its scalability, its profitability and its reduced maintenance. Yet the cloud has much more to offer than that.

When you decide on the impact that cloud computing can have on your IoT efforts, consider these startling benefits.

  • # 1 The cloud facilitates the integration of data.

For years, companies have invested in Big Data initiatives, combining information from multiple sources to help them make faster, more accurate decisions. Most of these efforts have been focused on human-generated data stored in ERP systems, CRM and other enterprise systems. These systems alone can generate a lot of data, and changes to an enterprise (such as mergers or acquisitions) can create a new set of data sources that need to be brought together to achieve unified visibility.

To further complicate matters, companies have begun adopting IoT as part of their data strategy to provide real-time information to these existing reporting systems, a more detailed context in terms of how the data is to be used. Company and greater visibility in areas of business that did not exist before. possible. For some companies, it is an opportunity to increase operational efficiency and streamline costs. For others, he can unlock new business models and sources of revenue.

Now that traditional business systems data is superimposed on data generated by sensors and connected equipment, companies are finding that IoT data has characteristics different from those of traditional business data. The velocity and volume of this type of data can overwhelm systems that are not prepared for it. This also requires a new data model architecture because it represents different types of information that may not have been part of the previous planning.

That's where cloud computing comes in. Because of the cloud's ability to store large amounts of data, organizations can process and store data from their enterprise systems and IoT devices in one place. The cloud is becoming an excellent gathering point for all disparate systems, where companies can step up their efforts with few limitations. Organizations can then eliminate the need for integration and audits between systems that appear when their data is stored separately.

  • # 2 Businesses can rely on the cloud for security and reliability.

In the past, industrial companies have questioned cloud protection because they see it as a loss of ability to touch and feel their data. Like consumers who were reluctant to transfer their savings under their mattresses to a bank account, many companies have similar reservations about where their data is stored. As a result, these companies have rejected cloud computing for the benefit of on-site technology.

While many people still view cloud security as a concern, the actions of leading cloud providers have begun to influence these views. While most companies have a dedicated security professional (or many), cloud providers such as Microsoft and Amazon have hundreds of them. These huge security teams also follow best practices and industry-specific standards and obtain the appropriate certifications without obligation. Vendors also provide businesses that use their cloud solutions with the tools they need to capture the security of their data.

Those looking to include a cloud solution in their IoT deployments can also count on its security. As the security of the cloud itself is proven, it also allows businesses to interact more efficiently and securely with their IoT devices. As you will see in more detail below, the cloud is an essential component of any large-scale IoT initiative. It is therefore essential to have a comfortable and secure connection between the data generation points.

In the same vein, cloud platforms are continuously audited so that cloud service providers can make performance and security data available to customers. This data access helps companies to ensure proper security and performance across all IoT device fleets. Recognizing that cloud providers are devoting considerable resources to the security and undeniable benefits offered by the cloud, companies are increasingly inclined to consider cloud solutions as a trusted, if not privileged, approach.

  • # 3 When it is associated with Edge Computing, the cloud provides the most important business benefit.

Dealing with clouds and edges separately is a fairly standard business practice. However, despite all the essential workflows made possible by the cloud, the integration of edge computing into a solution has advantages. The cloud and edge offer different benefits in different types of environments, which often makes it a distributed computing infrastructure better suited for IoT deployments. Having differentiated services can involve different layers to calculate at the edge – or at the point where the data is generated.

For example, consider a large plant with hundreds of equipment, each of which is actually an end point, while the plant itself could be another end point. In a deployment of this size, it would be wise to take the data generated by the equipment and aggregate it in the factory before sending it to the cloud.

The insertion of this middle layer becomes critical as it reduces the number of direct connections and filters the information flowing through the cloud, preventing unnecessary data from overloading downstream analytics. Moreover, if this factory only used cloud computing, they could not react quickly enough to the data generated on the equipment.

Delays due to data overload, as well as the distance between the end point and the analysis, slow response times, which can make a huge difference in the security and quality scenarios. Including Edge in the computer, the framework allows companies to extract information and act faster than if the data were to be transferred to the cloud. This time saving opens the door to a real-time evaluation of the data directly on the equipment itself.

On the other hand, if the factory opted for an exclusive approach, it would not have the opportunity to get a complete view of its operation. Without the cloud, they would only have on-site visibility of each item of equipment individually, without having any idea of ​​how these end systems worked in relation to each other. . To get this level of analysis, the plant should implement an offline batch process and manually combine all the factory data.

Unexpectedly, cloud providers have begun to offer on-premise solutions that complement their cloud solutions. For example, Amazon has launched two state-of-the-art computing products: AWS IoT Greengrass, which provides a state-of-the-art computing environment for larger devices, and Amazon FreeRTOS, which provides advanced computing for microprocessors and microcontrollers. Microsoft has also introduced similar products, including Azure IoT Edge and Azure Sphere.

Whatever the situation, the distributed processing and selection of the right solution for your business are key elements of a successful IoT initiative. It is often a multi-level approach that uses different methods of computing according to their strengths and weaknesses. Organizations that perform both on-premise and cloud-based analytics can see much more significant results, such as minimized costs and improved performance.

Changing the views on the cloud will lead to greater success of the IoT.

As the cloud becomes more and more common in all business sectors, the move to multi-cloud environments will begin to take off. A bit like when companies stopped asking the question "Windows or Linux?". The same paradigm is moving towards the cloud. People who have sworn allegiance to AWS or Azure have now realized that different cloud providers have different strengths and that a more consistent strategy is to find a way to stick them together to make things transparent.

As the cloud landscape changes, the IoT landscape also changes. Every day, more and more devices are introduced, which creates an increased need for device management and enhanced security. The cloud offers key benefits that help companies implement IoT initiatives more effectively in industrial environments.

When they are used effectively and associated with outsourced computing, companies are better able to adapt their IT to their needs and act in real time on the most relevant information. . And making faster, more accurate decisions based on actual operational data can create real business value and increase ROI.

Dave McCarthy

Dave McCarthy

VP of IoT solutions

Dave McCarthy is a leading authority on the Industrial IoT. As vice president of IoT solutions at Bsquare Corporation, he advises Fortune 1000 customers on how to integrate device and sensor data into their business systems to improve results. commercial. Dave is a frequent speaker at technology conferences around the world and recently delivered a speech in front of Internet of Things North America.