When tracing the taxonomy of breakthroughs in modern technology, two concepts stand as major stems in terms of progressive innovation: the cloud and the internet of things (IoT). The former has revolutionized the ways in which we store, share, analyze, and manage data across a large user base, speeding up the efficiency and productivity of many industries worldwide. The latter, a concept referring to the connectivity of devices across a potentially widespread network, as changed our perception of interactivity, and it too has revamped many aspects of the working world, from interconnected law enforcement resources to evolving possibilities surrounding smart cities.
Both the cloud and IoT, in themselves, are exciting and reflective of a seemingly limitless array of uses. However, what’s even more fascinating are the ways in which the two concepts are being utilized simultaneously, creating a relationship of vast potential.
Cloud computing acts as a natural complement to IoT initiatives, mainly since both concepts strive to “increase efficiency in everyday tasks.” In simple terms, IoT’s basic functionality creates a large amount of data, and cloud computing essentially gives this data a “pathway” to travel upon. In an office with a growing dependence on connected technology, for instance, the cloud’s presence can help to facilitate stronger collaboration and quicker data accessibility, allowing workers to access this data both remotely and on location.
Both the cloud and IoT have been criticized in the past for potential security concerns, leading some to question their functionality and safety. Respective security debates aside, the IoT/cloud relationship is undeniably fruitful in terms of increased security and privacy measures. The basic nature of IoT has led to an increased emphasis on several aspects of functional infrastructure, namely connectivity, reliability, and computing power. The cloud, in turn, can act as a “backbone” of sorts, helping companies to address these points of interest by means of application programming interfaces (APIs) and backend databases.
Since IoT is still technically a fledgling technological movement in several regards, its general handling has presented a lack of standards, which has subsequently led to breakdowns in manufacturer communication as well as device integration. However, the cloud can help to sharpen pre-existing IoT systems in terms of their fluidity and architecture. Often, data sets within current IoT systems are “siloed on separate servers,” and their accessibility suffers as a result. Cloud implementation can allow these servers to connect in a more seamless manner, cutting back on data stagnation and ultimately providing these servers with more value. In short, the cloud is able to make the already speedy IoT even faster, all while strengthening its functionality.