Interoperability in IoT; a key factor for its development

The transformative potential of the Internet of Things is obvious, and many companies are aware of this.
With the development of the new 5G networks, the Internet of Things will grow along the way, perhaps to the point of reaching figures as relevant as the $11 billion a year that McKinsey Consulting expects for this market in 2025.

But it won’t be easy. The Internet of Things is able to develop in so many areas and it has so many uses that its own diversity can be the main obstacle to its growth.
In an environment where countless devices of different types and technical profiles will operate (from household appliances to wearables, from autonomous vehicles to drones, among many others), manufactured by thousands of different brands (each with their own standards), developing the ability for them to communicate with each other will not only be a technical challenge, but also a matter of mutual consensus.

This is why the interoperability in IoT emerges as a major need for the development of the Internet of things.
In order to understand its relevance, let’s dig a little deeper into the concept. Interoperability is basically the ability for systems or components of systems to communicate with each other, regardless of their manufacturer or technical specifications.

For example, imagine that two IoT devices need to send each other any kind of information but are unable to do so because they “speak a different language”.
Imagine that the system that regulates the air conditioning of your home “speaks” in a language provided by its manufacturer and the one that controls the system for opening and closing the windows of your home only “understands” its own language because it has been created by a different company. They would be unable to communicate with each other and they would be unable to take action in a coordinated manner.

Or even more serious. Imagine that you are travelling in an autonomous vehicle and you need to communicate with other vehicles on the road to coordinate your movements and to be able to drive safely. What if they could not do so because of the incompatibility of brands which would make the exchange of information impossible? In this type of situation, even people’s lives could be put at risk.

This is the reason why interoperability is essential for the correct development of IoT. This is a problem that compromises the future of this technology and must be solved to allow its expansion.

And since this is a key aspect in evaluating the growth possibilities of the Internet of Things, we can ask ourselves: What is the current state of things when we talk about the interoperability in IoT?

The current state of interoperability in IoT and some attempts to improve the situation

If we look at the current state of things, we can say that the issue of interoperability can clearly be improved. The market is very fragmented, especially due to incompatibilities between brands, and a common effort is needed to reach common standards for communication.

The IoT philosophy is not exactly to create local, closed and limited environments. Exactly the opposite. The philosophy of IoT is to create a world in which millions of devices are able to communicate with each other in the best and widest possible way, without technical or commercial limitations, in order to make our lives a little better.

However, this is not an impossible task. It is by no means the first time that the leading technology developers and manufacturers have agreed to set generally accepted standards. Let’s think, for example, about the Internet, and how the homogenization of communication protocols has led to the growth of the network.

There are some initiatives to support interoperability in IoT.
One of them is, for example, IEEE P2413 – Standard for an Architectural Infrastructure for the Internet of Things, a standardisation project aimed at identifying similarities in IoT environments as diverse as intelligent buildings, intelligent transport systems or healthcare.

The other one is an EU project, called Iot-A, created to develop architectures that can be applied in different domains.
We also have the open source initiative called IoTivity, with over 300 members, including leading companies in the sector, which is aimed at guiding and promoting cooperation between companies and developers.

Or the so-called Industrial Internet Reference Architecture (IIRA), created in 2014 by some of the main operators in the market and focused on industrial IoT applications.

However, these are not the only initiatives. In such a diverse and insistent area, we believe that there have been multiple attempts at unification, but it is not yet possible to determine which standardization criteria will finally be chosen.

Final conclusions and a little IoT monitoring

The future development of IoT will depend to a large extent on improved interoperability, as we have already mentioned. And in order to achieve this, values such as cooperation and flexibility will be essential.

Likewise, when monitoring IoT devices, the flexibility of the monitoring systems will be something to be considered.

That’s why it is necessary to get to know Pandora FMS. Pandora is flexible monitoring software, which is capable of monitoring devices, infrastructures, applications, services and business processes. And it can also carry out IoT monitoring.

Do you want to know what Pandora FMS can do when it comes to monitoring IoT? Well, it’s easy for you. Just send us a message with all your questions. You can easily do this using the contact form at the following address:

But before you do this and if you want to know more about Pandora FMS IoT monitoring, you can check out this link:

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