Although the consumer IoT sector has had a strong start and a bright future, consumer IoT buying decision-makers have a lot to take into account when deciding which IoT platform is best for them.
Without IoT platforms, which act as middleware to connect sensors, assets, data, software, and business processes, the adoption of IoT would not be possible. There are numerous justifications for investing in an IoT platform.
An IoT platform’s main function is to serve as a pre-made framework for all of the IoT infrastructure, bringing everything together and assisting to reap the benefits as soon as possible. Finding the best fit IoT platform is crucial but there is a lot of complex and conflicting information to sort through, making this a difficult task.
Here are three factors to take into account when selecting an IoT platform, including dangers to watch out for, cybersecurity requirements, and the value of U.S.-based hosts.
Recognize the risks associated with category pricing
Beware of pricing that is competitively low. It’s crucial for any business selling IoT products to comprehend that buying a smart device is not a straightforward buy-and-done transaction. The platform that the device uses to support its connectivity capabilities is frequently managed by a third party, which means that the following are not included in the bill of materials and have a separate chain of responsibility and cost:
- Hosting the device
- Management and maintenance of platform/network infrastructure
- Development, maintenance, and management of the mobile applications
- Ensuring the device firmware is regularly updated and patched against cybersecurity threats
The integrity and ongoing support of consumer IoT products depend on these costs, among others. As there are many businesspeople today who claim their pricing provides support for the life of the product, it is important to exercise caution and stop to consider your options before jumping on the low-cost bandwagon.
Many platforms are based outside of the United States and may use dubious data practices to finance their operations, which in many cases could lead to betraying customer trust with their data—something that cannot be regained once lost.
Boost cybersecurity efforts
Although there are some regulatory protections aimed at the device or endpoint, the biggest cybersecurity risks are at the platform level. Consumer IoT can be an easy target for hackers.
With consumer IoT devices, the risk of data exploitation increases as IoT becomes more personalized. Platforms are in charge of deciding how to safeguard user data, and given how distinctively private that data can be, it is crucial that the platform it is hosted on provide the highest level of security.
The ability to monitor cyber threats around-the-clock and the fact that data security is monitored in the US are two of the most crucial aspects of an IoT platform to consider. These two elements guarantee that the platform is protected at all times from potential cybersecurity threats and that the data being protected and held will adhere to the consumer data privacy standards set in the United States by the Bureau of Consumer Protection. This guarantees that customers can trust the devices in their homes, offices, and other indoor spaces and that their data won’t be used for any purposes other than those for which it is being protected by the platforms themselves.
Know the data privacy risks of choosing platforms outside of the U.S.
That wireless network is heavily regulated to protect the user and their personal data and is compelled by law to protect the network infrastructure from being compromised by third parties such as foreign states.
Despite the fact that foreign platforms are widely used in the U.S., foreign IoT platforms are not subject to these regulations. As the IoT platform becomes the hub network controlling and gathering devices and the data of millions of users, it could quickly turn into a national security concern if a foreign platform has devices in millions of U.S. households.
The consumer IoT sector simply cannot afford to entrust foreign platforms with the data of American consumers. The platform owner continues to have unrestricted access to the aforementioned data even though foreign platforms have pledged to host all data in the United States on servers owned by third parties.
When choosing IoT platforms, there are real risks to take into account as well as pricing and security traps that are difficult to spot in the conventional buying and selling of consumer electronics. However, being aware of these pitfalls will help consumers continue to believe in and support the IoT devices that are integrating their lives.