As competition grows day by day, businesses are expected to constantly enhance all operational processes for productivity and higher customer satisfaction. The most successful way to accomplish this enhancement is through the use of IoT technology which can include real-time data from field operations and reliable analysis. Imagine trying to reduce the cost of energy usage in a supermarket chain of 100 branches, where will you start first?
Perhaps the first step will be to incorporate an infrastructure where you can immediately calculate the energy usage data of all branches. In this article, we will examine what kind of platform and technical competencies IoT solutions should have in order to achieve these objectives. The first criteria we will consider is the security of the platform. It is essential to implement a system, where you will keep the data of the company with huge importance, should have a reliable end-to-end cybersecurity level. The platform should have limits against brute force password attempts, filter web requests involving SQL injection, including automated measures against many attacks, such as XSS attacks, DDoS attacks or HTTP floods.Of course, it should not be forgotten that a system that will provide information security at this level can only be developed by expert software team, and cheap meat yields dilute soup. It is also important for the platform to pass penetration tests carried out by third-party specialist companies on a regular basis.
Our second criteria is the big data infrastructure and reporting capacity that comes with the solution. Although IoT systems are still generating data of unimaginable size, according to IDC’s 2019 study, the amount of data generated by IoT devices would hit 79.4 Zettabytes in 2025. The most efficient way to make use of big data is to store the data in the correct database at the same time depending on the usage and to process it in the region where each database is powerful. Choosing a database based on SQL and storing data would then be equal to throwing away all the investments made. A versatile, user-friendly and high-performance reporting infrastructure is important to gain insights that can reduce costs or increase revenue from field data.
It will be much more effective if visual resources are also available on a platform that will allow you to capture key points without being overwhelmed by the data. Our third criteria is to have a flexible rule module that will enable you to detect abnormalities. Controlling data from thousands of sensors 24/7 is a difficult task for a human. Luckily, an IoT platform with a powerful rule and alarm module can handle these tasks easily. Let’s go back to the example of a retail chain where we’re trying to conserve electricity. You have analyzed the data and have a good understanding of the circumstances in which there is excessive energy use. Let’s say, you also determined the rules to be followed regarding this.You can have hundreds of laws, such as leaving a lamp on throughout the day or immediately notifying the store manager if the cooler door stays open for more than 1 minute. The IoT platform you choose should allow you to establish rules without limits according to the time intervals and other conditions you want from different sensor data, and allow them to take action by informing all related parties immediately when something goes wrong. Even a tragedy like Chernobyl could have been avoided if it could be monitored with a good IoT platform and a strong rule module. Luckily, our aims are far more modest than that. Finally, we will explore the integration potential of the platform.
In order to achieve a good outcome, it is very important for many processes to be aware of each other and to be able to trigger each other.For example, you have set a rule that a machine that is continuously running should never stop outside lunch and/or break time when the machine is malfunctioning, the IoT platform will immediately pass this information to the ERP system and allow maintenance team work orders. In order to address these and similar needs, the IoT platform must provide an Application Development Interface (API) and must be built with an “API First” approach. As a result, the program would be able to use all its resources to cooperate with other systems.