When connected to the IoT, the cloud enables things never seen before, allowing businesses to thrive faster.
Cloud computing enables businesses to store, manage and process data on cloud-enabled platforms that provide flexibility, scalability and connectivity. Different cloud computing models, when properly implemented, help businesses in their digital transformation, efficiency, and growth. However, when connected to the IoT, the cloud enables things never seen before, allowing businesses to thrive faster.
There are several cloud services and solutions playing many roles in an IoT environment. Some of the cloud computing services have built-in machine learning capabilities, business intelligence tools, and SQL engines to perform complex tasks required by the IoT. But, let us understand how these cloud services benefit the IoT ecosystem in this article.
Some of the benefits derived from the convergence of IoT and cloud computing include:
Enables remote computing capabilities: With large storage capacity, the IoT eliminates dependencies on on-premises infrastructure. With the continuous development and internet-based technology development, such as the internet and devices supporting advanced cloud solutions, cloud technology has become mainstream. Powered by IoT, cloud solutions offer businesses the ability to access remote IT services with a single click or command.
Security and privacy: Tasks can be managed automatically with cloud technology and IoT, organizations are able to significantly reduce security threats. An IoT-enabled cloud technology is a solution that provides preventive, detective, and corrective control. With effective authentication and encryption protocols, it also provides users with strong security measures. Protocols such as biometrics in IoT products help manage and protect user identities as well as data.
Data integration: Current technological developments have not only integrated IoT and cloud smoothly, but also provide real-time connectivity and communication. This in turn facilitates the extraction of real-time insights into key business processes and on-premises data integration with 24/7 connectivity. Cloud-based solutions with powerful data integration capabilities are capable of handling a large amount of data generated from multiple sources, as well as their centralized storage, processing, and analysis.
Minimum hardware dependency: Currently, several IoT solutions offer plug-and-play hosting services that are enabled by integrating the cloud with the IoT. With the cloud, IoT hosting providers don’t need to rely on any type of hardware or equipment to support the agility required by IoT devices. It has become easy for organizations to implement large-scale IoT strategies seamlessly across all platforms and move to omnichannel communication.
Business Continuity: Recognized for their agility and reliability, cloud computing solutions are able to ensure business continuity in the event of an emergency, data loss or disaster. Cloud services operate through a network of data servers located in multiple geographic locations storing multiple backup copies of data. In the event of an emergency, IoT-based operations continue to function and data recovery becomes easy.
Communication between multiple devices and touchpoints: IoT devices and services need to connect with each other and communicate to perform tasks enabled using cloud solutions. By supporting multiple robust APIs, the cloud and IoT can interact with each other and with connected devices. Having cloud-supported communication speeds up interaction seamlessly.
Response time and data processing: Edge computing combined with IoT solutions typically shortens response time and accelerates data processing capabilities. This requires the deployment of IoT with cloud computing and edge computing solutions for maximum utilization.
Although cloud computing services can accelerate the growth of IoT, the successful deployment of these services poses certain challenges. The combination of IoT and cloud presents a few hurdles that need to be addressed first.
The challenges that the Cloud & IoT bring together include:
Large amount of data: Processing a large amount of data can be tiring and overwhelming, especially with countless devices operating at multiple touchpoints. This can threaten the overall performance of the application. Therefore, constant monitoring of the system and data backup is advised.
Network and communication protocol: Cloud and IoT devices involve multi-touchpoint communication using many protocols. As it is an internet-dependent service, it is sometimes difficult to manage change. Internet accessibility using Wi-Fi and mobile Internet can help solve all the problems encountered due to connectivity issues in such situations.
Sensor network: The sensor network enables users to process and understand the IoT environment and amplifies the benefits of IoT. But dealing with large volumes of data on a regular basis is a major challenge facing these networks.
The integration of IoT and cloud computing solutions is the future of the Internet and is currently solving several business hurdles while opening new avenues in business and research. New applications and services are developed at each stage to solve existing challenges. Cloud and IoT have a long way to go to unleash their true potential in the future.
The author is Amit Gupta, Founder and CEO, Rapyder Cloud Solutions