Innovations in technology are pushing computational power out to network edges, and the Internet of Things (IoT) devices share the workload more efficiently, which reduces reaction times and burden on server capacity; IoT devices at the edge provide computational power by talking to each other. If you are considering how to capitalize on this technology, you will find that it has never been cheaper to do so than now.
IoT development costs are coming down due to an assortment of factors that help reduce setup and operation costs:
- Component costs,
- Open source software,
- Cloud computing
The one factor that may slow the trend is the need for security as malicious entities attempt to exploit vulnerabilities.
Component Software And Connectivity Costs Are Coming Down
The costs of sensors and processing have all dropped significantly. For example, the Arduino and Raspberry Pi provide excellent IoT platforms and the cost for both of these devices is falling. As more sensors connect to IoT networks, the greater production volumes for components reduces the cost of manufacturing. Open source has reduced the cost of software with large libraries of excellent tools supported by large and enthusiastic development communities.
The growth in demand for chips to support mobile devices has driven the price down, as chips are becoming commodities. There are now more options for connecting devices. 802.11ac, Wi-Fi, Android and iOS devices are making it easier to knit networks together. Networks of sensors and back-end processors now use both wireless and wired Ethernet connections more efficiently than ever before.
The Cloud Computing Factor
Before the emergence of cloud-based services and infrastructure, a network that required servers meant that you would have to spend weeks of late nights setting up, configuring and troubleshooting your back end servers. That is no longer true because cloud computing has reduced the set-up time from weeks to minutes to establish new servers instances.
IoT systems focus on operational consideration for appliances; the Cloud is about computation, the combination of these strengths creates ideal systems to support Big Data applications and analytics. Networks of IoT devices capable of processing at the edge can respond more quickly to events. Finding the right combination of edge and cloud promises to deliver the best Big Data capabilities at the lowest possible demand on resources, therefore the lowest cost.
The Hidden Costs Of The Internet Of Things
Security researchers traced a recent DDoS attack on a scale never before seen to a Botnet that targeted Linux-based firmware of IoT devices such as cameras and recorders. If this is an indication of the changing nature of security threats, it shows that network operators and developers will have to invest heavily in defences to keep up.
The operating systems developers for IoT tend to focus on getting out the functionality before the competition, the efforts to secure devices from hostile takeovers has not been a priority. The growth of interdependence between devices on the edge and cloud-based software and platforms will present security challenges and opportunities for those developer teams that have the ambition to tackle them.
If security concerns slow the growth of IoT networks, the increasing dependence on a combination of IoT and cloud computing in Big Data solutions will most likely offset it; reduced costs and increasing power will help to address challenges while delivering analytics and business intelligence insights that create demand for the technology as rapidly as it develops.