Questions to Ask Before Custom-Developing an IoT Platform

July 6, 2017

Should you build your own IoT platform or pay for a platform service from an IoT provider?

Two people analyzing data on a large monitor.

This is a question that a lot of enterprise businesses need to ask when planning to deploy their IoT solutions. Though many early adopters had no choice but to use the tools available to them to develop their own IoT platforms, today, companies that are joining the IoT revolution can benefit from using a well-developed platform from an experienced IoT solutions provider.

Just like any other business decision you need to make, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of each option before deciding how you will invest your time and resources. Below, we’ve put together some questions that your company needs to consider before diving into building a DIY IoT platform.

Build or Buy: 5 Questions You Need to Consider

Due to the costs and management requirements of building and running a DIY IoT platform, your team needs to ask the following questions to determine whether it’s better to build or buy:

1. When would you like to take your solution to the market?

Paying for an IoT platform service allows you to take your product to market rather quickly. However, if you choose to build your own platform, you will need to consider the development time that it will take to get your platform up and running as this can ultimately delay when you are able to take your IoT solutions to market. The time will depend on your development team and available resources, but many enterprises find that it takes at least one year to develop a viable platform.

2. Will developing your own platform require additional staff?

Many companies may not have the full development team that is necessary to build and manage their own IoT platform. Consider your current team structure and resources to determine if hiring additional staff may be necessary. If it is, this is just another cost that you will need to consider when budgeting for your IoT platform.

In fact, when looking at the costs over 5 years to support 5 million IoT devices with an enterprise-grade AEP, MachNation found that while it costs on average $106 million to purchase a third-party platform service, it costs $174 million to build your own, with more than half of the costs going toward first-year development.

3. What will your development team be neglecting by working on this project?

Even if you hire additional developers to help build your IoT platform, you will still need to consider where your developmental resources might be better utilized within your organization. All the time that your development team spends on creating the platform is time that they could be used to support other vital areas of your business.

4. Is your team able to effectively develop a scalable platform?

Though you may have no doubt that your team can build an IoT platform that can handle your current needs, you also need to think about the future. As your business data needs grow and change, will you be able to scale your IoT solution adequately while remaining within your budget? If not, you may want to choose a platform that is able to grow with your business and meet your needs both now and in the future.

5. How will you address security issues?

Many companies who decide to develop their own IoT platform are faced with security challenges that they did not anticipate. There are multiple areas that are vulnerable across your IoT system from the product to the infrastructure. If your team is unable to anticipate and address these security issues effectively, you may be better off purchasing a platform service from a provider that features industry-standard protocols to protect your company from security risks. If you want to take your IoT solution to market, but still have questions about how to get started the right way, Telit is here to help.

Request a consultation with our experts. They will answer your questions about system architecture, full-scale commercial deployment, and more.