Cellular Connectivity: The Final Piece of the IoT Puzzle
The cloud is helping almost every business rewrite their history. From smarter collaboration and faster innovation to lower operating costs and optimized business processes, the cloud is breaking down silos. Digital transformation provides the tools that help in faster and more accurate decision making. Yet the path to business value is not the same for everyone.
Some focus on infrastructure as a service, others on platform or software as a service. There are different degrees of familiarity. Whether it’s a crucial foundation on which entire organizations rest or a newly integrated springboard to streamline, protect and energize business plans, the cloud has arrived.
IoT and the cloud combine, but there could be a weak link
Migrate, optimize and innovate is the mantra, with the Internet of Things adding another layer of digital communication to terminals that would otherwise be redundant. With cloud and IoT solutions, the fabric of commerce becomes smarter, more responsive and ready for a hybrid future.
Yet cloud and IoT are only part of the picture. There is a weak link. Individual endpoints – often sensors – collect data and transmit it to the cloud, where data processing, insight mining and intelligent decision making take place. Then commands are sent back to terminals, key actions are performed and analyzed based on the inputs.
With all of this already happening in the cloud, it makes sense to bridge the gap with cellular connectivity. And that’s the idea that created EMnify in 2014, marking the birth of one of the first connectivity providers with a cellular platform in the public cloud. Seven years later, cloud-native cellular IoT connectivity has matured, is fast and efficient, and is accelerating the impact of IoT.
Beyond traditional cellular contracts
Despite careful planning and publishing, many IoT deployments have not achieved the desired results. Businesses have been unable to harness the full potential of the cloud, with bottlenecks and latency issues choking the flow of information and reducing the quality of decision-making.
Indeed, connectivity was still provided through contracts and cellular connections with traditional carriers. Even though applications, software and systems were hosted in the cloud, cellular connectivity was the bridge. And it creaked.
Today, the vast majority of IoT platforms are hosted in the cloud, with most data transfers and storage also taking place there. The technology has evolved to deliver an end-to-end, cloud-native network architecture, allowing businesses to fully utilize the agility, scalability, resiliency, elasticity, and cost savings of the cloud.
The benefits of cloud-native cellular connectivity
When companies move beyond traditional cellular contracts, they can overcome the limitations of outdated connectivity models. The inflexibility is over. No more bottlenecks. There are no more unnecessary expenses and hurdles fall, accelerating time to market and time to revenue generation of IoT. With a cloud-native ecosystem, workflows are transformed into plug-and-play environments, without the requirement for restrictive contracts or troublesome hardware APIs.
Among the many immediate benefits a business can enjoy when choosing cloud-native connectivity, the main benefits are self-service, better integration, low-latency connectivity, borderless cellular network, and substantial cost savings.
With cloud-native cellular connectivity, everything is self-service. You can get started right away, and there are no administrative burdens to slow progress. There are no contracts to sign, no tickets to open and no contractual commitment. Instead, everything is taken care of with automated workflows.
On the integration side, nothing could be simpler. Cloud-native connectivity makes it easy to establish connections between devices, apps, and systems. This results in improved operational efficiency and increased safety. Additionally, the connectivity solution can easily be integrated with your own and third-party cloud applications and services in your stack.
Latency is also not an issue. You’ll enjoy reliable, low-latency connectivity to a highly reliable, cloud-native core network that spans the globe. Instead of routing the data to the home country of the cellular operator, the best option is selected, depending on each individual situation. Data is routed directly to the nearest cloud region, which not only reduces latency, but also reduces device power consumption, extends battery life, and improves service availability.
With a global cellular network, it’s easy to scale across national and network borders without needing to source from different providers. That’s the beauty of cloud-native cellular IoT connectivity. Even on a per-country basis, multiple networks are accessible through a global IoT operator, allowing all aspects of connectivity to be managed on a single platform.
Cost savings as well as efficiency gains
If the performance improvements aren’t enough, it also pays off. Cloud efficiency translates into potential cost savings, with microservices, network function virtualization, and software-defined networking capabilities all playing a role in cost management. With access to these tools, networks become more responsive and cost effective to manage, provision, deprovision and troubleshoot through software solutions. Not only is responsiveness increased, but processing power is only available when needed, reducing hardware demands and saving disk space, power and costs.
Traditional carrier contracts and connections simply don’t work well in IoT operations. Where they create bottlenecks, end-to-end cloud-native connectivity overcomes obstacles and creates opportunities. With cloud-native connectivity, there is no more intensive IT administration or maintenance of servers, networks and on-premises virtualization platforms, which require specific training and technical skills.
A time to focus on basic skills
Operational inefficiencies can also be significantly reduced when transitioning from a private physical server hosted within an organization or data center to a full cloud platform. Choosing connectivity is one of the most important decisions in any company’s IoT journey. It’s essential that you have the right foundation in place, alleviating overhead, expense and administrative pressure, allowing the business to focus on its core competencies, creating exceptional IoT solutions, while a provider of cloud takes care of cellular connectivity.
Frank Stoecker, CEO and Co-Founder, EMnify