Industrial Automation & Sensors Blog

IoT Gateways: The ‘S’ Factors for Successful Deployment

by Natasha Menon | 08/12/2016

As low power technologies become increasingly popular, more organizations are implementing LoRa WAN technologies in their gateways as the near-term solution. The flexibility of LoRa WAN is the ability to integrate numerous devices without complex installations. The gateways can provide bi-directional communication channels, as these devices are often connected to a network server via standard IP connections and the end-points communicate using single hop wireless communication to one or many gateways. As businesses look forward to rolling out their IoT solutions immediately, LoRa WAN seems to be an ideal solution for gathering transactional data from legacy devices and leveraging the existing IT architecture without major overhaul. In the near term, LoRa WAN-based technologies will experience rapid implementation across industries as customers scale their operations, bringing more devices online (particularly in cases of the data being non-sensitive and transactional in nature).

The challenge with LoRa WAN technologies remains the management of sensitive data, as the diverse nature of connected devices cannot rely on standard IT security protocols. Common security measures used on a combination of disparate devices leaves the system vulnerable to data breaches. As customers’ requirements entail the move towards more big data and analytics solutions, the volume of data being processed in the cloud versus the device edge becomes another aspect that needs to be addressed. Processing large, unformatted data in the cloud versus the gateway can result in latency, redundancy, and delays in time-sensitive decisions critical in certain operations. Higher levels of compute at the edge cannot rely on solely on low power technologies in the long run, however.  At that time, the role of intelligent gateways will become increasingly significant for customers looking to adopt big data and analytics-based complex IoT solutions.

The lack of standardization around security measures for device and software platform leaves the information and operational technology world in chaos. Deploying enterprises are often apprehensive about the aggregation and processing of sensitive data at the edge in their own systems, let alone in the cloud. The fundamental need to address security is essential to opening new revenue streams for gateway suppliers waiting to capitalize on the opportunities provided by the constantly evolving IoT technology ecosystem. To stay relevant within this dynamic market, vendors should develop their strategy to address the three essential ‘S’ factors:

  1. Seamless integration with various devices;
  2. Stringent security protocols; and, last but not the least,
  3. Scalability within their gateway devices to meet the growing demand of specific IoT solutions across industries. 

Stay two steps ahead of the market with VDC Research’s upcoming report, ‘2016 IoT Gateways & Embedded Technology,’ which provides detailed insights and recommendations in the embedded hardware space. VDC Research investigated the technologies and trends in the IoT and intelligent gateway market. The upcoming report highlights the importance of gateways for the IoT, the associated embedded technologies, the evolution of the gateway architecture over the forecast period and more detailed market insights within the embedded hardware space. For more details, watch out for updates on the ‘2016 IoT Gateways & Embedded Technology’ report.