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The missing link for IoT – the Cloud



IoT (Internet of Things) has not quite taken off yet as envisaged –  Will the cloud overcome the shortcomings of IoT? I believe that the Cloud is the missing link that enables IoT to create a critical mass towards deployment.

The vision outlined here is part of my forthcoming book on Data Science Central. You can see all other free books on Data Science Central on free datascience books. Over the summer I will be releasing a free book on Data Science or Internet of Things – reflecting many of the ideas as part of my teaching on AI – Cloud and Edge technologies at the University of Oxford


Mark Weiser’s original vision for IoT was that of an ‘invisible servant’. Enticing as that vision may be, it is not pragmatic even in the near future. To truly fulfil the vision of ubiquitous computing, devices must automatically find, discover, connect and interact with each other seamlessly

So far, IoT attempted to fulfil these goals at a radio level. Radio level connectivity is not easy and is expensive. Radio level connectivity is increasingly possible through proximity based technologies – but by no means will be ubiquitous in the near future

Into this scenario enters the Cloud – which is dominated by AWS, Azure and GCP in terms of Cloud marketshare

So, what does that mean for IoT?  Instead of radio level connectivity, you could have Cloud level connectivity for IoT devices. That means, the Cloud could be the missing link for IoT

The Cloud based vision is not idealistic (like ubiquitous computing) but rather pragmatic


The impact on the Cloud for IoT is seen in other developments. A few weeks back, Rob Black’s blog posted about the missing Gartner ‘leaders quadrant…. So, according to Gartner, there are no leading IoT platforms. That’s because, Gartner ignores the Cloud in categorising IoT platforms.


Image source Gartner

If you include the Cloud, then Azure an AWS emerge as leaders for IoT as per the blog.   Last week, Microsoft won a large deal with AT&T


I see a wider trend here. Niche IoT platforms will be superseded by the Cloud, The Cloud will provide connectivity to the disparate devices.

Image source: Archaeopteryx the missing ink between dinosaurs and birds

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