Hypergrowth of global connectivity in the early 2010s inevitably forged path to further development of devices deployed on customer premises and industrial environments. Communication between them and remotely located services became a thing.
New IoT platforms were built due to an ever-growing demand of connecting embedded systems such as Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone to the Internet. They started tackling challenges of remote management, big data storage, analytics and over-the-air updates. With great success. Number of startups base their products on top of them. But not without any drawbacks, obviously.
The majority of these platforms provide you with means of connecting your devices to their offering, giving you the possibility of management and supervision. What they lack in is taking care of your devices from the OS level all the way up to your business logic.
There's also a very small number of platforms that provide you with the toolkit your IT department can use to surpass that challenge. A drawback using these solutions is having an expectation for you to have vast software engineering expertise.
There must be a middle ground here. Businesses focusing on Operational Technologies (OT) should be able to implement complex solutions in the Cloud utilizing Information Technologies (IT) to a degree sufficient to satisfy their business case without deviating too far from their expertise and losing focus.
A drive towards the improvement
Areas that must be covered in such a platform are:
- Device provisioning and onboarding
- Over-the-Air system updates
- Secured communications and vulnerability scanning
- Automated application deployment
- Cloud-native, resilient environment
Engineers shouldn't face this many layers straight into the beginning of their projects. Yet completely ignoring these areas early on in the process might result in huge technical debts. IT environments should be architected well in order to be resilient, secure and manageable.
We need to plan ahead to easily scale in future.