The Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the way companies and individuals live and work. From monitoring patient data in a hospital to improve healthcare policy to an individual wearing a fitness tracker to measure their steps each day, the IoT provides a constant flow of data between devices and servers.
In the business environment, the outcome is that there’s potential for significant improvement in business practices, customer experiences, employee safety, and cost reduction. As enterprises gather data, they will see previously unidentified trends and areas ripe for improvement that will launch a quick series of advances.
For CIOs, the challenge is determining the best architecture for managing the data coming to and from sensors on the device:
Local IoT architecture: Using an onsite solution, data is processed at the edge of the network, close to the source. This option creates a smaller footprint than with cloud architecture, and is ideal for situations where the data requiring even a few seconds of time to travel can make a big difference. If you consider settings where turning a safety valve or adjusting pressure on an oil tank must be done in response to a stream of data, local architecture provides the quick response time necessary.
This is also a good fit in industries where security is prioritized, such as the financial industry, where keeping data close to the source is ideal. Healthcare may also choose local architecture, because so many decisions are time-critical and based on immediate data results.
Cloud architecture: Choosing cloud architecture is beneficial for enterprises that move large amounts of data and watch the aggregate results from their IoT network. In these situations, one item of data loses any significance and is only important as it contributes to the overall assessment.
One benefit of cloud architecture is that it tends to be on the front end of tech development, and enterprises using these services are the beneficiaries of advances in speed and features. It also has the advantage when it comes to agility in interacting with other cloud systems and IoT devices. Overall, cloud architecture offers some assurance that innovation will provide for the future needs of the enterprise.
Hybrid architecture: A hybrid solution is often preferred when there’s a combination of mission-critical as well as broad, trend-spotting data. For instance, an amusement park may want to collect broad data about how many people were on a specific ride every time it made a loop around the track, every day, all summer, but info for a particular day is mostly irrelevant except for spotting trends. If a sensor reads that there’s a safety concern, it’s mission-critical and needs to be addressed immediately, so it requires an onsite data approach.
At Enterprise Visions, our experts know how to leverage today’s most effective technology and telecom resources and services to support, grow, and protect your enterprise. Contact us for an appointment to discuss your best options for IoT architecture.