what you need to know before choosing an IoT platform.



IoT PaaS TechThat IoT platform
Technology ownership
Technology ownership
You rent a bed You own the house
Code control
Code control
Proprietary and opaque Open-source and transparent
Cost of ownership
Cost of ownership
Annual fee + usage fee + services + support Services + support
Deployment
Deployment
3-rd party cloud Complete freedom: on-premises, cloud, hosted, hybrid
Scalability and security
Scalability and security
Limited visibility and control Full visibility and control
New features
New features
Limited control, slow response (reportedly weeks to months) Absolute control (open-source), continuous integration, under a week typical response
End-to-end solution
End-to-end solution
Fill in the gaps yourself or engage with a VAR / 3-rd party Turnkey, custom solution enablement by CyberVision
Vendor expertise
Vendor expertise
PaaS Full stack: embedded development to data analytics, machine learning, visualization, etc.
Talent attraction
Talent attraction
Challenging due to the proprietary nature of the platform Straightforward due to the open source and reuse of proven and widely adopted open-source components
Professional services
Professional services
Expensive, shared, on-demand resources Dedicated team; proven and cost-efficient offshore methodology

Five key differences

Choosing an IoT platform can be a daunting task in terms of getting familiar with the solution before jumping in. Having emerged quite recently, no IoT platform or platform-as-a-service can claim a reputation that would allow safely taking its marketing promises at face value. Neither can any of these solutions offer production-ready components tailored to all typical IoT use cases, which makes openness to customization a crucial factor while selecting an IoT platform.

Unless these and other factors are taken under close scrutiny, the selected platform may turn into a waste of time with an unsuitable and costly tool or, in the worst case, into a vendor lock-in.

TechThat, as an open-source IoT platform, brings its own recipe to address IoT project challenges. Compared to IoT PaaS, which are growing in number and promise fast kick-off for IoT application development, TechThat aims to provide a comprehensive IoT platform that guarantees quality and reliability across the entire product lifecycle.

Comparing TechThat with IoT PaaS, the following five factors make the biggest difference:


Technology ownership

TechThat comes under the Apache 2.0 license, which is a free software license, giving the full ownership over the final solution as well as the solution’s source code to the user. Every bit of everything under the hood is therefore transparent and open to review. It is also easy to modify things or add custom features as soon as the need arises.

IoT PaaS provides a ready-to-go environment for development, which, however, works as a black box and always will. If someday you want to change things around on your own, add a new feature or integrate with some third-party solutions, there will be very few options at your avail in that room you rented. And there is always a risk of being left out in the cold if the PaaS provider’s business goes south.


Cost

The math is simple: to use IoT PaaS, you have to pay a rent in the form of annual fee, per-device fee, etc.; TechThat is a free platform. Additional services or support options are available for both.


New features

With TechThat, you have absolute control over the source code of the solution. The most important implication here is that you control the time to market for new features and modules. You can use either in-house development team or request services from CyberVision, the company behind TechThat — there is no vendor lock-in like with proprietary and PaaS solutions.

With IoT PaaS, you have limited control over new features development, so it might be very important to check that everything fits the bill before subscribing to the service. After that, it’s the PaaS way or the highway.


Interoperability and third-party integration

Building a broad end-to-end solution – where an IoT part is just a link in the chain – is a strategic direction which is not equally feasible with different IoT platforms. IoT PaaS may provide only minimal interfaces for integration with third-party systems and the required integration services may well be out of the PaaS provider’s expertise, which is easy to check beforehand. You will have to fill in the gaps yourself or engage with a third-party development team.

TechThat, as an open-source solution targeted for a broad community of IoT developers, features a variety of established integrations with popular IoT hardware and data processing systems. TechThat is also supported by CyberVision, a company with in-depth expertise in IoT, embedded development, Big Data, mobility, consumer electronics, and web – allowing you to order a turnkey end-to-end solution at one shop.


Support

The quality of support services is, as a rule, in direct proportion to the amount of provider’s expertise. While most of IoT PaaS providers have been in business for just a few years, CyberVision is a global software development company with over two decades of experience. There’s a large pool of senior software engineers engaged for TechThat development and services, and a cost-efficient offshore methodology is another competitive edge of support services from CyberVision.