May 25, 2016
May 25, 2016
Contributor: Christy Pettey
Use a combination of five architectural components to implement Internet of Things capabilities.
Companies are excited by the opportunities around the Internet of Things (IoT), but CIOs are realizing IoT is not a “one size fits all” solution. The integration of IoT technologies varies among companies and industries significantly. Implementing the right IoT solution requires an IoT architect who must be able to employ "solution level" thinking.
According to Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, enterprises will build and adapt their IoT implementations to include a combination of five key architectural components – things, gateways, mobile devices, the cloud and the enterprise.
“When considering the IoT, we think of machines, vehicles, buildings and consumer goods, all connected to the cloud,” said Mr. Tully. “Yet, will this cloud approach be the predominant architecture for the IoT? Will we add sensors and actuators to monitor and control things, and then rely on the cloud to provide computing resources and storage? The answer is not always.”
When a fitness wristband, for example, is tethered, much of the "smartness" (the application logic) isn't fully embedded in the wearable. There is some embedded application logic on the wearable, but most of the real application logic is in the smartphone app. At the same time some of the applications useful to the owner are in the cloud, so that the user can share fitness metrics results with friends or a healthcare provider.
There is no single application "location" for fitness wearables. The functionality of the wearable is actually distributed - on the wearable itself, in a smartphone app and in the cloud. Similarly, some of the fitness data resides on the wearable itself, but much of it is stored on the smartphone, and some of it is stored in the cloud.
Each IoT architecture will include more than one of the five functional components. For example, an enterprise might favor a smartphone functionally to be most instrumental, but it may still rely significantly on cloud resources. The ultimate goal of modern IoT architectures will be to eliminate the technological segregation created by the cloud, gateways and things and abstract compute, storage, and networking end to end.
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Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Build Your Blueprint for the Internet of Things, Based on Five Architectural Components
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.