Businesses today are built upon connectivity. It’s the oil of the new technological frontier. Connectivity lubricates the wheels of commerce and delivers power to corporate engines. Yet when it comes to IoT, traditional connectivity models can be inflexible and expensive. In this article, Frank Stoecker, CEO and co-founder at EMnify, explores the opportunities surrounding cloud-native connectivity and services.
Many IoT deployments have fallen short of their full potential, unable to fully realise all the benefits of the cloud. That’s because first-generation design relied on connectivity that was provided through traditional mobile contracts and connections, even though applications, software and systems were hosted in the cloud. This created data bottlenecks, high latency, low reliability and a dependence on the limitations of traditional telecoms.
Choosing the right connectivity solution is one of the most crucial decisions a business can make during its IoT journey. And when you choose end-to-end cloud-native network architecture, your enterprise can break down the barriers of traditional connectivity models, achieving faster time to ROI.
What Is Cloud-Native Connectivity & Why Does It Matter?
The term cloud-native describes network functions that are built and run using the cloud computing delivery model. Software containers package up code and dependencies, helping service providers to develop and deploy networks faster. This means applications run faster and more reliably from one computing environment to another.
Cloud-native connectivity makes it possible to respond quickly to growth in mobile data traffic and add new services, too. It also harnesses automation tools, allowing service providers to become more open and agile. In short, cloud-native connectivity and services are the essential backbone of a connected business.
EMnify was founded in 2014 on the principle that connectivity absolutely demands to be in the cloud, sitting alongside software applications. There’s no reason why connectivity should exist outside of the cloud, and plenty of reasons why it has to be firmly embedded.
Since those days, we remain absolutely committed to our goals, and uptake continues to grow. Yet many companies have yet to make the shift from legacy functions, still constrained by the traditional connectivity straightjacket. That’s partly because many big mobile network operators and service providers need a business case to compel them to shift from legacy solutions towards cloud-native functions.
There’s no reason why connectivity should exist outside of the cloud, and plenty of reasons why it has to be firmly embedded.
CEO & Co-Founder, EMnify
The Benefits of Cloud-Native IoT Connectivity
A cloud-native connectivity solution provides a raft of benefits, right from the outset. This includes easier, more reliable low-latency connectivity, bandwidth demand management and lower cost.
Improved operational efficiencies are achieved, as cloud-native connectivity makes it easier to establish connections between devices, applications or systems. A cloud-native connectivity solution can also be easily integrated via API into cloud-based platforms such as AWS, Azure and Google Cloud, which are popular for IoT use cases and more.
Scaling up across national and network borders becomes hassle-free, thanks to low-latency connectivity to a cloud-native, highly reliable core network. This spans the globe, with multiple networks available in each country. Network traffic peaks can also be absorbed, with additional on-demand resource that allows enterprises to manage cyclical demand variations. Autonomy and self-management becomes the norm, with easy-to-use management portals.
In terms of cost savings, features such as microservices, network function virtualisation and software-defined networking allocate processing power only when required. This saves hardware, disk space and energy, as well as cost. Plus, networks are more responsive and cost-effective to manage, provision, deprovision and troubleshoot.
Putting It All Together
End-to-end cloud-native connectivity takes IoT performance into another dimension, overcoming the constraints and barriers of traditional telecoms. As the overwhelming majority of IoT platforms are now hosted in the cloud, with most data transfers and storage undertaken there, cloud-native connectivity has to be a fundamental part of the equation.
According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services, by 2023, 10% of managed machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity will be provided through hyperscale cloud providers. That’s up from less than 1% in 2018. There’s never been a better time to deploy cloud-native connectivity solutions.
Platforms like ours transform cellular IoT into a cloud resource that goes above and beyond a simple connectivity link. Complexities are removed and businesses can connect devices wherever they are, easily and securely transporting data to their cloud technology stack. Deep insights become attainable without delays. Devices communicate in real time. And everything is managed from within the system via API.
What’s more, the path from IoT device to the cloud can be set up and secured in minutes using standard cloud services, while a globally distributed private communication layer transports data securely and offers programmable routing options.
Isn’t it time you took a closer look at the benefits of cloud-native connectivity for IoT?
ABOUT OUR GUEST WRITER
CEO and co-founder, EMnify
A successful serial-entrepreneur and recognized telecoms expert for over 15 years, Frank anticipated early that the new wave of connected services demanded new concepts to simplify connectivity on a global scale. Prior to co-founding EMnify, Frank held leadership positions at MACH and Syniverse.