Trade-Offs When Choosing IoT Platforms
All technical choices entail trade-offs, and IoT platforms are no different. In this case, the question that we need to ask is “what features do I want and how much time and money am I willing to devote to them?” Especially on the larger platforms like AWS and GCP, we can find most things that we need, ready to go out of the box.
However, some of these services require greater degrees of vendor lock-in. For instance, AWS IoT device shadows are a useful feature because they store a small bit of data about each IoT device’s state in the cloud so that other applications can access it, even if that device goes offline. While this is almost always helpful, employing it makes a project more tightly coupled with Amazon’s ecosystem.
We could build this feature from scratch, but it’s going to take a lot more developer hours than accessing what’s already there. In fact, all of these decisions exist on a spectrum.
On the far side of the DIY route, it’s possible to provision your own servers in a private data center, use as much open source technology as possible, and write everything else from scratch. On the other end, we can leverage everything that a third-party platform offers and tie ourselves more closely with that platform.
Conclusion: Don't Sweat It
When it comes to picking an IoT platform, our job is to understand what our client wants and how to get there. Instead of spending a lot of time at the beginning of a project researching different platforms and assessing their trade-offs, we’ll make an initial assessment of our client’s priorities and start moving forward.
At the end of the day, all roads lead to Rome. No matter what platform we do end up choosing, the impact on the end result is small. What makes a project successful is how we can implement a functional product and how good of an idea it is, not the chosen platform.
Are you looking for a team that can help you deliver results on your IoT initiative? Contact the Very team today.