It seems that every tech company has different ideas on how to best design and implement an IoT network.
From major players like Amazon and Microsoft releasing their own frameworks, to start-up companies developing solutions to niche markets, there is a dizzying array of choice for organisations willing to dive into this hyper-connected world.
At least one top Asia Pacific executive believes a single point of governance could allow companies to get IoT projects over the line easier and provide clarity.
Zebra Technologies’ senior technical director Wayne Harper likens the burgeoning standards space to an “IoT soup”.
“During a chat last week, I was talking about IoT almost as having chefs or cooks, where different people can take different ingredients and create different things,” he said.
Harper expects that as many as five “corporate standards” could emerge as major players attempt to build ecosystems around their respective IoT platforms.
However, he believes those standards will provide the most value to IoT customers if there is some level of interoperability between them.
“[IoT] will be a little bit like the cloud, in that you will find that nearly every standard will have some form of compatibility,” Harper predicted.
Although a single, universally accepted standard would simplify IoT deployment plans for many organisations, Harper thinks that the multitude of hardware and software options – and their corresponding complexities – will make it difficult for that to become reality.
Even between verticals, the requirements and capabilities sought from IoT deployments varies greatly.
The needs of the healthcare industry differ from those in manufacturing and logistics, for example, and IoT’s lack of reliance on a single piece of technology or protocol means that solutions can look vastly different even within the same industry.
To try to manage all of these concepts from a single point would require as many resources as those dedicated to developing the solutions themselves.
As various companies form alliances with each other to collaborate on IoT development and design, it will be interesting to see how the landscape will look when the dust starts to settle, and a clearer picture of IoT starts to take shape.