Don't rush your company into an IoT app platform

It's a big decision because it's hard to back out of middleware, analyst says

Enterprises deploying Internet of Things devices and accompanying software don't have to go it alone, but choosing a platform for building your applications is a big decision that's hard to go back on.

IoT analyst Dima Tokar adds that caveat when giving tips on what a company should look for in an AEP (application enablement platform), a set of middleware components that can make IoT rollouts easier. On Monday, the MachNation analyst released a report on the changing AEP landscape.

IoT can involve thousands of sensors and controls in things like engines, factory equipment and medical gear. But where it really gets complex is in connecting those devices to systems that can collect and analyze the incoming data and manage the whole thing. An AEP helps enterprises implement all those functions and write applications that ride on top of them for goals like running a more efficient business.

A lot depends on the choice of an AEP, because it's at the heart of a complex system that may extend across the company and remain in place for years.

"Middleware like an AEP is notoriously difficult to replace once it is in place," Tokar said via e-mail.

Because of that, enterprises should lay out their criteria and thoroughly investigate platforms based on both current and future development needs, he said.

Here are some important criteria:

-- A flexible deployment model that allows for running the software on a shared or private cloud, in your own data center, or in a "fog computing" infrastructure on the edge of the network. A multi-tenant cloud hosted by the vendor is the most important option for most customers, Tokar said.

-- A developer-friendly environment that includes publicly available APIs and a barrier-free way to try out the software before buying.

-- A good network of system integrators and technology partners to turn to for help in implementing IoT. They can bring to bear best practices from earlier deployments, he said.

Tokar also cautioned that an AEP can't guarantee your whole IoT system is secure. The biggest danger is slipshod integration between components from different vendors, which can leave holes in the system that open it up to attack, he said.

Enterprises have a lot of AEP providers to choose from, including both specialist companies like Davra Networks and Cumulocity and some of the biggest companies in IT, such as IBM and General Electric.

As with any new technology, small vendors tend to do faster development and have flatter organizations so they're more approachable. Bigger ones offer more assurance they'll be around a while, Tokar said. "Since an AEP is a a choice of middleware, it's something you want to pick without worrying that you'll have to rip it out in several years."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?