It’s not a doubt that the development of technology has opened up the capacity to expand the opportunities that businesses take advantage of to grow in today’s digital space. As a result of the great possibilities that IoT promises, an increasing number of companies desire to add their products into their business procedures. But, the truth of the matter is that it’s not easy to implement this ambitious idea. There’s so much that’s needed to make this work. As a matter of fact, it appears as a highly complicated affair for many companies. Especially for companies that are not well conversant with the working of IoT, it’s a big deal for them to implement it in their systems. Of course, there are devices, resources, and frameworks required for IoT infrastructure to work, which makes it an intricate process. Nevertheless, despite how complicated it is to develop an IoT infrastructure, it’s necessary for companies to make sure that they put up an effective system by following the right stages and considering the most fundamental factors for the project to succeed.
Yes, it’s true that there are various essential factors to consider when putting up an edge IoT infrastructure, but the one thing that companies need to put in mind is having the right IoT specialist. Of course, since this is an intricate thing for many, the best course of action is to have the right person on board. This will not only make it easier for your business, but also ensure that you don’t spent a huge amount of resources. You’re likely to spent unnecessary resources if you don’t have the right person on board from the beginning. The truth of the matter is that if you get into it without knowing how to navigate through, you’ll end up facing a highly complicated process that can frustrate you. In as much as you can go around the process and idea of developing software, there is a practical application that may not be explained in plain words. The aspects involved can be too much to comprehend. Thus, when it comes to the building of an effective edge IoT infrastructure, you need a specialist who will develop and implement an effective application of the 4 stages required in the process.
The Value of an Effective Edge IoT Architecture
Before you get to delve more into the stages of IoT infrastructure, it’s prudent to develop a good understanding of the benefits that come from it. If you’re going to have an edge IoT architecture that’s done well, you’ll see a great deal of improvements with your system. The first thing that will happen is that you’ll see a significant reduction in the dormancy of your system. You’ll begin to see action from your system that wasn’t before the application of IoT. As a business that wants to experience growth, you can’t afford to have inactive systems that don’t produce the required results. That’s why you need a well designed and implemented IoT architecture. With this in place, performance will increase incredibly. Applications and devices will begin to perform at a higher level for the benefit of your business. In simple explanation, the higher the performance of your business applications and devices, the higher the likelihood of experiencing quality business outcomes.
Of great importance still, you’ll notice a considerable change in the efficiency of communication and data relay. If your business has data and communication hurdles, what you need is a system that will take care of the existing gaps. With the implementation of a quality IoT architecture and set up, there will be a significant reduction in the degree of data and communication hurdles in your company. Without a doubt, this leads to incredible benefits to your employees and target market. Simply put, the speed of communication increases the ability to meet the demands of today’s needs.
Additionally, the right edge IoT architecture goes a long way to help companies to set up IoT projects promptly and efficiently. This is something that many organizations are lacking today. The ability to be prompt and effective in addressing the problems that companies face today is a factor that mangers have to consider consistently. Therefore, according to a 2017 research by ResearchGate, for organizations that want to improve their competitiveness, it’s necessary to set up the proper IoT architecture. Also, it’s worth taking note that it minimizes security risks. The technology space is valuable and highly resourceful, but it has the potential of increasing security risks. Such risks make it difficult for businesses to operate at their optimum potential. They spend a lot of resources and effort trying to deal with the security risks. The solution to this is using the right IoT infrastructure. With the right IoT network, you can have security risks reduced massively and keep your business on the right track for growth and development.
The IoT Architecture Stages
There are 4 stages of IoT architecture that you can use to build an effective edge IoT architecture. Here is a breakdown of the stages that organizations need to realize the benefits of IoT.
The Sensors and Actuators Stage
The process begins with sensors and actuators. In simple terms, these are the devices that make it possible to monitor the physical process. This is the stage that deals with the core essence of IoT. The fundamental building-block of IoT is data. The work of a sensor is to capture data related to the environment or the condition of a process. It is the sensors that help with the conversion of information from the outside environment into data. The conversion of information into data happens for the purposes of analysis. Examples of the things that a sensor captures include temperature and chemical composition.
There are times when a sensor will detect an event or occurrence that requires a quick response from an actuator. In such a situation, the actuator will have to do a remediation process in real time. A good example of such an action include the changing of a fluid’s flow rate. In such a case, there should be a low dormancy between the sensor and the actuator. In other words, there should be no delay in the communication with the server. For the purpose of reducing the delay, this processing should be accomplished closely with the process under monitor. In the first stage, the sensors and actuators work in collaboration with each other to convert the data generated into physical action.
The Aggregation and Analog to Digital Conversion Stage
It is the data acquisition system that performs the important function of collection fresh data from sensors and transforms it from analog form to digital form. The data then goes through to the next process through a wireless network.
It is important to point out that at this stage, the degree of data is at the maximum level. It’s worth noting that the quantities of data can be massive especially in a case of a factory where there are many sensors collecting data concurrently. It is for this reason that data goes through a filtering process as well as compressing it to a size that’s ideal for transmission.
The Pre-processing Stage
At this stage, IoT data has gone through the important digitization process and aggregation. After this has gone through successfully, the next thing is to do more processing to ensure that the data is able to go through the data center. Analytics is significant at this point. It is the edge device that makes this possible. This is necessary for the pre-processing. IoT experts will tell you that machine learning plays a very role in this stage. The importance of machine learning is to make sure that there is adequate feedback for the system to be at its best. Also, it helps to enhance the performance of the process without having to wait for communication from the data center. For this process to take place, the device being used has to be near the location of the sensors.
It’s notable to point out that edge analytics are integral in large IoT projects. They plays a huge role in ensuring improving response times and enhancing flexibility when it comes to the effective processing and analysis of data. Speed of analysis is a subject of interest for many companies today. It’s for that reason that reason that edge computing has experienced significant popularity for its capacity to maximize on speed of analysis. IoT experts point out that edge architecture has the ability to work on IoT material quicker in real time. This is particularly advantageous for organizations that want to benefit from the intelligence derived from the output information.
The Analysis, Management, and Data Storage Stage
The last stage involves the usage of IT systems with the capacity to evaluate, manage, and store data in a safe way. It is in this last stage that in-depth analysis takes place at the data center to identify or bring forth pivotal information that can help organizations and companies in their operations. This process happens in the data center where the amalgamation of data from different sites or sensors takes place for the purpose of creating a larger picture of the entire IoT system. Also, it goes a long way to help business managers and IT specialists to come up with vital insights for a company. With the capacity of IoT data, a business operating in different places can use the data processed and analyzed to identify important insights that can help it to improve its operations.
Essentially, the cloud is the brain that takes control of the body of IoT. With the ability to analyze, process, and store data, businesses have the capacity to improve production incredibly and reduce downtime, which is a valuable thing in today’s business environment. The cloud or data center also helps to improve energy consumption for businesses, which goes a long way to reduce their usage of resources. Of great importance still, the data center carries a great deal of significance in providing the much-needed intelligence for a business to interact with its system effectively. People are able to make informed decisions based on the intelligence they receive.
From the discussion above, it’s clear that IoT architecture carries a great deal of importance for organizations and companies that want to succeed in the digital world. It the perfect way for companies to get the data they need to improve their operations and remain on the competitive edge. As you well know, a company can only be on the right side of performance if it is using the right technology and in the right way.
Therefore, the four stages of IoT architecture are paramount for businesses that want to improve their data collection, conversion, analysis, management, and storage for improved performance. However, it’s valuable to highlight that IoT doesn’t necessarily work for all organizations. There is need for the organizations working with IoT infrastructure to consider security and the right information technology systems. With such, it will be difficult for organizations to keep up with the demands of IoT and, as a result, they may have to deal with more issues than the ones they wanted to address in the first place.
With this in mind, organizations and companies have to remember that for them to meet their objectives, they have to work with the best. Working with the best requires the usage of quality resources able to achieve results. Part of using quality resources has to do with hiring qualified IT experts to do what they can’t do. The disadvantage with IT related projects is that once something goes wrong in crucial stages, it can cause damages that may be difficult to correct. So, it’s prudent for companies to take advantage of the expertise of IoT professionals early in the planning process so as to achieve quality outcomes. If they take this step, they will be able to avoid gaps that can be extremely costly in the future.