6 key essentials of IoT

The Internet of Things, or more famously known as IoT, is no longer just a buzzword. Many IoT products are deployed in households and industries for several uses. However, the complexity of the technology itself is never entirely understood and this often creates implementation issues like resource allocation and platform selection.

This blog thoroughly explains the elements of IoT that will help you understand the complexity layer-by-layer. So, let’s take a look.


Things often refer to devices like sensors, controllers, calculators, memory, and tags. The base of IoT architecture comprises of the device layer. It is essential to choose the right hardware and peripherals, along with the necessary sensors to meet your business needs.

There are various types of devices, but for a device to be IoT-enabled, it must have some built-in communications functionality that allows the device to directly or indirectly connect to the Internet. The key role of such devices is to collect and distribute data.

Local services

HeLocal services add intelligence to the data before it is transmitted. Their key role is to process the data captured by sensors. This processing mostly works in real-time and can be easily managed by applications. To maintain the security of communication, the processors perform encryption on processors and decryption of data.


Connectivity is essential in any networked system. Depending on the application requirements, there is a pool of options of both wired and wireless connectivity solutions. While considering the battery life of your devices, it is important to address the power/bandwidth ratio. For example, ZigBee and LoRaWAN require very low power. However, they have limited bandwidth. On the other side, 3G and 4G provides good coverage as well as high bandwidth, but it is relatively expensive.

There are several chipsets available today that enable you to switch between radio technologies. Nonetheless, this is only useful if you’re looking for higher longevity in the field. But if there’s a need for high bandwidth, like in a factory, where a large number of connected sensors and actuators are scattered over a wide area, wired technology would fit the best.


A major challenge in implementing the full potential of IoT is that around 85 percent of existing things were not designed to connect to the Internet and hence, they cannot share data with the cloud. Gateways are addressing this issue by acting as an intermediate between legacy things and the cloud. The key responsibility of gateways is to route the processed data and send it to assigned locations for its proper utilization. This helps in achieving better connectivity, security, and manageability. In simple words, gateways help with two-way communication of data.

Example: the production line machinery can relay information with the help of gateways that alert service technicians of any imminent maintenance problems. There are mainly two categories of IoT gateways:

  • Simple units that communicate raw streams of data
  • Intelligent gateways that perform initial data analysis to transmit a subset of the full data stream


IoT platforms that are readily available simplify the development of IoT applications. They enable easy connection of devices and sensors and provide connectivity between related information systems and operational assets. Compared to DIY platforms, these platforms deliver more comprehensive business value. Ready-built IoT platforms are a scalable option that meets the requirements of any company. It enables a continual growth and change for the firm.

IoT platforms are mostly deployed in the cloud. However, if the project is big and requires a hardware investment or if there are any security concerns, you can opt for an on-premises deployment.


Whether the goal is to receive an alarm when machines reach a certain temperature, optimize the water supply, or predict maintenance of any industrial component, all IoT projects are carried out with a purpose. IoT applications enable companies to reach their end goals.

Applications are the software elements of an IoT system that utilize the data received by the devices along with the functionality that the data provide. They enable companies to make data available to them in real-time, from anywhere, and make automated decisions.

Home automation apps, security systems, etc., are some examples of IoT applications.

Most applications rely on cloud computing due to the ubiquity of available services. Depending on the level of customization, IoT applications can be categorized into three segments:

  • IoT vertical applications:These applications provide out-of-the-box functionalities for specific solutions, such as smart waste management, smart building monitoring, and smart water metering.
  • Platforms for building your own application:Using configurable dashboards, reports, alarm, rules and graphics, you can build your own application. These applications can be independent or can be provided as a part of an IoT software platform.
  • Custom software applications:These applications are developed from scratch, using standard software development technologies. This, however, is the slowest, most expensive, and potentially the least secure route for IoT implementation.

Simplifying the complexities

It is essential to understand the complexity and symbiotic relationships of these 6 elements of IoT. Without a comprehensive knowledge of the IoT implementation process, the project might fail.

A Cisco survey reveals close to three-fourths of IoT projects are failing.

Long completion times, poor quality of the data collected, lack of internal expertise, IoT integration, and budget overruns are the key reasons for the failure.

To make the understanding of the process simple, we have a designed a workshop for IoT implementation. This workshop provides you with checklists, guidance, and helpful discussions to take your IoT project from idea to reality.

Upcoming Workshops

  • March 20 & 21, 2019 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Phoenix, AZ Learn More
  • April 10 & 11, 2019 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Marlton, NJ Learn More
  • May 08 & 09, 2019 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Hoffman Estates, IL Learn More