An essential component in creating new technical solutions is software platforms – This also goes for the IoT.
In previous years building an IoT system required the system architect to build everything from scratch. The management of the individual devices, the storage of the data, the analysis models and artificial intelligence for creating value from data. One of the major advances in IoT over the past decade has been the availability of a multitude of platforms, where most of this functionality is already prebuilt and available as a service or as open source software.
There are multiple ways of investigating which IoT platform is the right choice for you. A good starting point is shown in the above figure, which produces one way of differentiation between the different groups of platforms. Starting from the left.
The first group is the cloud centric platforms. These are the swiss army knife platforms, that can support almost any service you can imagine. They excel in having a very large number of services and versatility in the use, which leads to a large degree of customization – which however also requires skills and time.
The second group is the industry centric platforms, these are focused on the Industrial IoT applications where an emphasis on integration with the industrial automation systems and connectivity to these are emphasized.
The third group is focused on communications and communication management. These are focused on the wireless connectivity and operations and management of these networks.
The fourth group is the device centric, which provides functions closely integrated with the embedded software on the devices and the edge computing functionality directly on the IoT devices, including firmware upgrade management.
The fifth group is platforms developed targeting SMEs primarily for the domain of smart cities and end user services. Here, a large number of users are connected to the platforms and are easy to get started with to provide services the end costumers. An interesting point is that many of these are built using the cloud centric platforms
The last group is the opensource software. These have a multitude of applications like the cloud centric, and have a high degree of adaptability. Often these are intended for on premise backends, where it is hosted on your own server and the developers can modify the source code to the needs.