IoT has touched almost every vertical imaginable, from automotive, smart cities, telematics, manufacturing, insurance, energy and healthcare. Analyst group Gartner predicts the global installed base of IoT endpoints will surpass 9 billion by 2021, with companies using high-speed, reliable cellular connectivity across global device fleets to connect sensors, conduct large-scale data collection, perform real-time analytics and automate decision making.
One of the primary drivers for IoT adoption among most enterprises is workflow optimization. A recent Ovum study showed cost reduction, improvement of business processes and enhancement of productivity as the top three drivers of IoT adoption among enterprises globally. As a result, it is essential for every aspect of the IoT value chain to be as effective as possible.
At the heart of IoT is the constant exchange of data between devices and a host of operational and control systems to enable manufacturers to provision, manage and troubleshoot devices, make decisions, perform analytics, and more.
The type of connectivity to use is one of the most important decisions any enterprise will make on its IoT journey. Connectivity has a huge impact on cost, efficiency, the type of analytics they can access and even the revenues they can generate. To do this they must evaluate IoT connectivity across a range of parameters, including ease of deployment and management, scalability alongside business growth, cost effectiveness, reliability and security.
Cellular connectivity is one of the most suitable models for any type of IoT application where the device is mobile, outdoors or out of reach of short-ranged options. Use cases are varied; ranging from connected cars to smart watches to parking meters.
Using a SIM card, devices connected over cellular technology work on the same principle as the mobile phone. Cellular connectivity is currently the most popular type of IoT connectivity, preferred for its flexibility, ubiquity and ease of implementation.
While it might be tempting to connect IoT device fleets through an incumbent mobile network operator, or a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), this approach has several drawbacks:
Enterprises need a global network that has been custom-designed to meet the unique connectivity requirements of IoT.
Today, the vast majority of IoT platforms are hosted in the cloud, with the majority of data transfers and storage undertaken there. By 2023, 10% of managed machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity will be provided through hyperscale cloud providers, up from less than 1% in 2018.
A number of first-generation of IoT deployments did not reach their full potential because they could not realize all of the benefits of the cloud. Even though applications, software and systems were hosted in the cloud, connectivity was still being provided through ‘old-economy’ cellular contracts and connections.
However, technology has now evolved to offer end-to-end cloud native network architecture, allowing enterprises to fully utilize the agility, scalability, resiliency, elasticity, and economies of the cloud in every aspect of running a connected business.
Cloud-native connectivity and services are the backbone of developing a connected business. They allow enterprises to overcome the limitations of traditional connectivity models, which are inflexible and expensive for IoT, prolonging time-to-market and time-to-revenue. A cloud-native environment is plug-and-play, avoiding the need for restrictive contracts and hardware-based APIs.
A cloud-native connectivity solution provides several benefits from the offset, including:
The type of connectivity to use is one of the most far-reaching decisions in an enterprise’s IoT journey. End-to-end cloud-native connectivity overcomes many of the barriers of traditional telecoms and allows business leaders to achieve fastest time to ROI.
EMnify provides a global end-to-end cloud-based connectivity that is purpose-built for IoT. EMnify’s services offer on-demand connectivity and a virtualized cellular platform that offers enterprises with all the tools and resources they need to launch and manage connected services at a local or global scale. For more information on EMnify’s cloud-native IoT core network, click here.
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