The difference between Internet of Things vs. cloud computing and the top service providers
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The Internet of Things (IoT) is starting to transform how we live our lives, but all of the added convenience and increased efficiency comes at a cost.
The IoT is generating an unprecedented amount of data, which in turn puts a tremendous strain on the Internet infrastructure. As a result, companies are working to find ways to alleviate that pressure and solve the data problem.
Cloud computing will be a major part of that, especially by making all of the connected devices work together. But there are some significant differences between cloud computing and the Internet of Things that will play out in the coming years as we generate more and more data.
Below, we've outlined the differences between the cloud and the IoT, detailed the role of cloud computing in the IoT, and explained "fog computing," the next evolution of cloud computing.
Difference Between Cloud Computing and IoT
Cloud computing, often called simply "the cloud," involves delivering data, applications, photos, videos, and more over the Internet to data centers. IBM has helpfully broken down cloud computing into six different categories:
- Software as a service (SaaS): Cloud-based applications run on computers off site (or "in the cloud"). Other people or companies own and operate these devices, which connect to users' computers, typically through a web browser.
- Platform as a service (PaaS): Here, the cloud houses everything necessary to build and deliver cloud-based applications. This removes the need to purchase and maintain hardware, software, hosting, and more.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): IaaS provides companies with servers, storage, networking, and data centers on a per-use basis.
- Public Cloud: Companies own and operate these spaces and provide quick access to users over a public network.
- Private Cloud: Similar to a public cloud, except only one entity (user, organization, company, etc.) has access.
- Hybrid Cloud: Takes the foundation of a private cloud but provides public cloud access.
The Internet of Things, meanwhile, refers to the connection of devices (other than the usual examples such as computers and smartphones) to the Internet. Cars, kitchen appliances, and even heart monitors can all be connected through the IoT. And as the Internet of Things surges in the coming years, more devices will join that list.
The Internet of Things and cloud computing are different, but each will have their own job in tackling this new world of data.
Role of Cloud Computing in the Internet of Things
Cloud computing and the IoT both serve to increase efficiency in our everyday tasks, and the two have a complimentary relationship. The IoT generates massive amounts of data, and cloud computing provides a pathway for that data to travel to its destination.
Amazon Web Services, one of several IoT cloud platforms at work today, points out six advantages and benefits of cloud computing:
- Variable expense allows you to only pay for the computing resources you use, and not more.
- Providers such as AWS can achieve greater economies of scale, which reduce costs for customers.
- You no longer need to guess your infrastructure capacity needs.
- Cloud computing increases speed and agility in making resources available to developers.
- You can save money on operating data centers.
- You can deploy your applications worldwide in a matter of minutes.
Some of the more popular IoT cloud platforms on the market include Amazon Web Services, GE Predix, Google Cloud IoT, Microsoft Azure IoT Suite, IBM Watson, and Salesforce IoT Cloud.
Fog Computing...The Next Evolution of Cloud Computing?
Fog computing is more than just a clever name. Also known as edge computing, provides a way to gather and process data at local computing devices instead of in the cloud or at a remote data center. Under this model, sensors and other connected devices send data to a nearby edge computing device. This could be a gateway device, such as a switch or router, that processors and analyzes this data.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, forecasts that 5.8 billion IoT devices owned by enterprises and governments will use fog computing in 2020, up from 570 million devices in 2015. Many IoT devices don't have their own computing power, and fog computing typically provides a better way to collect and process data from these devices than the cloud does.
Much More to Learn
The Internet of Things (IoT) is powering transformation for enterprises, consumers, and governments. Emerging tools and technologies like smart speakers, machine learning, and 5G are enabling huge gains to efficiency and more control at home and in the workplace.
The continued growth of the IoT industry is going to be a transformative force across all organizations. By integrating all of our modern day devices with internet connectivity, the IoT market is on pace to grow to over $3 trillion annually by 2026.
Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, is keeping its finger on the pulse of this ongoing revolution by conducting our third annual Global IoT Executive Survey, which provides us with critical insights on the most pivotal new developments within the IoT and explains how top-level perspectives are changing year to year. Our survey includes nearly 400 responses from key executives around the world, including C-suite and director-level respondents.
Through this exclusive study and in-depth research into the field, Business Insider Intelligence details the components that make up the IoT ecosystem. We size the IoT market and use exclusive data to identify key trends in the connected devices sector. And we profile the enterprise, governmental, and consumer IoT segments individually, drilling down into the drivers and characteristics that are shaping each market.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- We project that there will be more than 64 billion IoT devices by 2025, up from about 10 billion in 2018.
- Blockchain within the IoT is still generally the provenance of startups, and they're populating the marketplace with products that take advantage of the technology's characteristics. It's not going to upend the IoT, despite the technology's much-ballyhooed potential. And respondents to our survey of IoT providers seem, for the most part, to understand this. Just a small percentage think that blockchain will become a universal standard in the IoT. The vast majority said that blockchain will either be a tool that most companies employ at times, or a niche product that only certain solutions use.
- Lightning-fast 5G networks will change how telecommunications shapes business and will also offer new and transformative possibilities in the IoT space. The new standard will further increase the appeal of cellular solutions in the areas where it's available. And that's why nearly half of IoT providers said they're planning to introduce support for 5G networks to their solutions within the next two years.
- The report highlights the opinions and experiences of IoT decision-makers on topics that include: drivers for adoption; major challenges and pain points; deployment and maturity of IoT implementations; investment in and utilization of devices; the decision-making process; and forward- looking plans.
In full, the report:
- Provides a primer on the basics of the IoT ecosystem.
- Offers forecasts for the IoT moving forward, and highlights areas of interest in the coming years.
- Looks at who is and is not adopting the IoT, and why.
- Highlights drivers and challenges facing companies that are implementing IoT solutions.
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The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you've given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of the IoT.