10 Best IoT Platforms in 2018. IoT Technology Forecast

The Internet-of-Things is, perhaps, one of the fastest growing industries today. We see connected devices in our homes, cars and offices, and they are getting even smarter and more effective. Moreover, the IoT technology is creating interesting integrations with other advanced areas, such as artificial intelligence or blockchain.

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 95% of all new products will use Internet-of-Things technology, so we may expect some truly amazing and sometimes unusual implementations.

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Image credit: PCMag

At DA-14, with web and mobile application development being our main areas of business, we closely follow the evolution of the IoT industry to be prepared to take on any development project, no matter how complex it is. Since many technology solutions now involve connected devices and their management, the development of IoT applications is now one of the hottest topics.

Cloud hosting has become a wide-spread and generally appreciated method of developing and running various technology solutions, and here IoT, directly depending on Internet, definitely benefits from all the advantages of cloud computing. Special cloud-based IoT platforms support the Internet-based functions of the application – running, maintenance, analytics, data storage, and security measures.

We have researched the current market to select the best top internet of things platforms. We believe that they can provide the most optimal environment for running IoT applications.

Amazon Web Services

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No matter what kind of cloud-based project you may have in mind, with an almost 100% probability, AWS will support it. The cloud services provided by Amazon include an IoT suite that supports all aspects of Internet-of-Things applications:

  • AWS IoT Core, which is the base on which any IoT application can be built. Via AWS IoT Core, devices can connect to the Internet and to each other and exchange data. Billions of messages can be sent between the devices and cloud storage over a secure connection. The platform supports various communication protocols, including custom ones, thus enabling communication between devices from different manufacturers.
  • AWS IoT Device Management allows easy addition and organization of devices. The service ensures secure and scalable performance with the possibilities of monitoring, troubleshooting and updating the device functionality.
  • AWS IoT Analytics, providing a service for automated analytics of large amounts of various IoT data, including unstructured data from different types of devices. The data gathered and processed by the service is ready for use in machine learning.
  • AWS IoT Device Defender, supporting the configuration of security mechanisms for the IoT systems. AWS IoT Device Defender enables the setup and management of security policies controlling device authentication and authorization, as well as providing encryption mechanisms.

These are just a few examples of IoT services offered by AWS. If you choose the Amazon environment for your IoT application, you will get a scalable, secure and properly performing system.

Google Cloud IoT

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Google Cloud Platform is another global cloud provider that supports IoT solutions. Its Google Cloud IoT package allows you to build and manage IoT systems of any size and complexity. The Google Cloud IoT solution includes a number of services that enable the creation of IoT networks:

  • Cloud IoT Core, the heart of the Google Cloud IoT suite, that allows connecting various devices and gathers their data.
  • Cloud Pub/Sub, the service which processes event data and provides real-time stream analytics.
  • Cloud Machine Learning Engine, allowing the building of ML models and use of the data received from IoT devices.

The IoT solution developed by Google includes a number of other services that may be useful while building comprehensive connected networks.

Microsoft Azure IoT Suite

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Our IoT platform comparison would not be complete without the solution by Microsoft Azure, a cloud service giant in the same league with AWS and Google Cloud Platform. Microsoft Azure IoT Suite offers both preconfigured solutions and the possibility to customize them and create new ones according to the project requirements.

With Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, you are getting the strongest security mechanisms, superb scalability, and easy integration with any existing or future systems. The platform allows you to connect hundreds of devices by various manufacturers, gather data analytics and use the IoT data for machine learning purposes.

SAP

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This German developer of enterprise software solutions could not stand aside in the rapidly growing market of IoT tools and applications. SAP Cloud Platform for the Internet of Things has everything you need to create and manage an IoT application.

The SAP platform is a convenient environment for the remote management and monitoring of all connected devices belonging to your IoT system. The remote devices can be connected either directly or via a cloud service. The powerful analytical capacities allow the processing, organizing and studying of the data received from sensors, meters and other IoT devices.

Of course, keeping to the latest technology trends, SAP provides the option of using the IoT data for the creation of artificial intelligence applications and machine learning.

Salesforce IoT

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If you are looking for a reliable and flexible IoT platform, check this US-based producer of cloud computing software and enterprise solutions. Salesforce is focusing its IoT development effort on creating an integrated system connecting IoT devices with their customers right within the Salesforce structure. Their main goal is making the IoT data accessible to anyone.

With Salesforce IoT, you can create custom IoT applications connecting any device and interpreting its data for further use. The “customer-first” approach adopted by Salesforce makes the platform stand out from the competition.

Oracle Internet of Things

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In our comparison of the top Internet-of-Things platforms we are sure to include Oracle, a global software corporation that is well-known for its advanced solutions in the sectors of database management, cloud computing, and enterprise software. Of course, the Oracle line of products includes an IoT solution, too.

Oracle Internet of Things platform links the enterprise software to the “real world” of devices and their metrics. Oracle provides exceptional business opportunities with its flexible environment for creating commercial apps. Being a reputed leader in the database management sector, Oracle supports the processing of extremely large amount of data, thus allowing you to build large-scale IoT networks.

Another point worth mentioning is the use of advanced security mechanisms that protect the IoT systems from external threats. As such systems usually contain various devices, some of which have no inherent security tools, the application of centralized security measures is more than justified.

Cisco IoT Cloud Connect

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Cisco focuses on creating a convenient platform for mobile cloud-based IoT solutions. The Cisco service supports voice and data communication, extensive customization of IoT applications, and various monetization opportunities.

By choosing the Cisco platform to host your IoT application, you will get a complete package of device management and monitoring functions, advanced security measures, scalability options – all with an emphasis on mobile application and the related user experience. A line of additional services allows implementing other functions – for example, IoT Services for Utility Networks can be used to build systems specifically designed for use by utility companies, while IoT Advisory provides access to expert consultations on the major business challenges in the IoT sector.

Bosch IoT Suite

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Bosch is another technology giant based in Germany. Its line of products ranges from appliances to software solutions of various purposes and application types. Bosch IoT Suite is ranked among the top Internet-of-Things platforms for its innovative approach based on famous German reliability.

In the development of its IoT platform, Bosch uses open standards and open source, and takes into account the major requirements of projects containing connected devices and the related technologies. The Bosch IoT Suite supports the full app development cycle from prototype development to application deployment and maintenance.

Bosch IoT solutions can be implemented both as cloud services and as standalone systems running on-premise. The platform supports cross-domain applications, increasing the integration opportunities and minimizing the compatibility issues.

IBM Watson Internet of Things

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According to their own description, with IBM Watson “the Internet of Things becomes the Internet that thinks”. This bold statement means that IBM experiments with integration IoT with artificial intelligence creating unique experiences and solutions.

The IBM platform supports effective remote device control, secure data transmission and storage in cloud, real-time data exchange, as well as machine learning options thanks to the integration with AI technology.

The development platform offered by IBM includes a number of convenient tools and services, making IoT software creation easier and more efficient.

ThingWorx IoT Platform

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ThingWorx by PTC is designed for building industrial IoT solutions. It is considered one of the most complete toolsets for creating IoT applications of varying complexity and scale.

The platform has excellent sharing and collaboration possibilities, which makes it a great solution for large development teams. Its native capabilities are sufficient to build various IoT applications without the need to apply third-party components or libraries.

The IoT applications created on the basis of the ThingWorx platform have all the features of an advanced enterprise solution – great scalability options, and integration with cutting-edge technologies, such as augmented reality, and extensive analytics. This powerful functionality is implemented with a simple and intuitive user interface, thus combining great performance with high usability.

Choosing the best IoT platform

From our IoT cloud platform comparison, you can see that the opportunities are rather numerous, and it is difficult to find the best solution for the project you are planning. True, all top platforms for developing IoT solutions are included in this list for a reason: all of them have their advantages.

The criteria for choosing the platform may be as follows:

  • Price and pricing model. Some platforms use the pay-as-you-go model where you are charged for the resources you actually consume (like AWS IoT Core), while others use the subscription model billing a flat fee per month (like Salesforce). Depending on your project specifics, choose the pricing concept that suits you best.
  • Availability of a free tier. This is a great option for cases when you need to test your idea and need an opportunity to run a simple project with a minimum investment. AWS offers a free tier option with certain restrictions, while Oracle has no free option, being rather pricey on the top of it.
  • The development team experience. This is the sure-fire way of choosing the tools and services for development. Ask the development team about their experience and knowledge of available options and make your selection by balancing the project requirements and the team expertise.

Of course, each project is unique and may have specific requirements as to the security, scalability, and storage locations. To find the perfect environment for building your connected network, we recommend getting professional advice. Contact us with your idea for the IoT project, and we will find the best technology solution, allowing you to build software that will meet all your requirements.

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