No one is debating that an IoT solution will need to utilize a platform stack.
The concept of a stack refers to the network, infrastructure, data store, application and enterprise integration. Companies seeking to develop an IoT solution must make a strategic decision as to whether they will purchase a Full Stack or build a Custom Stack. This article will explain the pros and cons of both approaches so you can choose the best option.
The Full Stack model for IoT deployment is based on fully integrated and often rigidly engineered “stacks” of business functionality. They are designed to be a self-contained ecosystem with business and functional capabilities. This can include flow optimization, fleet management, supply chain control and predictive maintenance. A Full Stack is a central location with everything needed for functionality such as modules, business logic, software, data, utilities, operating systems, servers, storage, containers, network connections, security and enterprise service management capabilities. They are built to optimize performance and reduce maintenance requirements.
The benefit of Full Stack IoT is that the components can be changed as the technology or the business needs evolve. However, customer IT and OT organizations have historically tried to tackle the complex integration of this design on their own, which if not handled correctly can lead to major issues. This has caused central IT/OT budgets to be much larger than needed, shifting the focus and resources away from other aspects of the business.
Custom Stack IoT is different in that the idea behind the design is to keep the pieces separate so they can meet business needs in a more flexible and customizable way. They provide an option for customers that cannot afford to invest heavily with any one vendor. Maintaining a more flexible stack allows customers to meet changing business needs and better adapt to new technologies. However, this technology lacks the high level of integration and the intricacy that Full Stacks offer.
The choice between the two stacks comes down to some very important variables any company will need to consider when developing an IoT solution. These variables can be anything from intellectual property, the protocol used for connectivity as well as the network requirements. It is also essential that companies determine who will be providing the service and support for each layer of the stack.
It’s clear that each option for an IoT stack has advantages and disadvantages. Nevertheless, it is important that any IoT solution be designed in a way that is future-proof as well as adaptable.