Purchase Or Custom Develop An IoT Gateway

Enterprises are actively leveraging wireless technologies and IoT deployments to optimise their business processes and improve operational efficiency. They are eager to have fast, stable connectivity solutions to speed up project completion to get to market before their competitors, while ensuring long-lasting durability and consistent performance of their products. When implementing an IoT solution, enterprises are often faced with multiple choices: should they buy an off-the-shelf IoT gateway directly, or should they choose to develop their own customised gateway that meets their needs?

The decision involves not only technical considerations, but also cost, time, security, and long-term development strategy. This article discusses when and how to evaluate the need to develop an IoT-gateway to help readers make a more informed decision.

When should you consider buying an IoT gateway outright?

You should consider buying an off-the-shelf gateway outright when your business has standard IoT connectivity needs, has a limited budget, needs to deploy quickly, lacks the relevant technical know-how, or wants to mitigate risk.

Standard Connectivity Needs: If your business has standard IoT connectivity needs that don’t involve complex customisation requirements, buying an off-the-shelf gateway can be an efficient and cost-effective option. Off-the-shelf gateways are usually already compatible with mainstream devices and protocols, and can meet the connectivity needs of most common scenarios.

Budget Constraints: Buying an off-the-shelf gateway usually comes with lower upfront costs, which is an important consideration for organisations with limited budgets. Compared to in-house development, purchasing a gateway saves costs in R&D, testing and production, reducing financial pressure on the organisation.

Rapid Deployment Requirements: Off-the-shelf gateways have been market-proven and production-optimised for rapid deployment into projects. This is critical for organisations that need to go live quickly and get a head start in the market. Self-developed gateways may take longer to develop and test and validate, and cannot meet tight timelines.

Technical Support And Service: Purchasing an off-the-shelf gateway usually entitles you to technical support and after-sales service from the vendor. This is very favourable to enterprises lacking IoT technology accumulation, which can effectively solve problems encountered in the course of use and ensure the stable operation of the gateway.

Reduce Risk: Off-the-shelf gateways have been widely tested in the market, and their stability and security have been verified. Compared with self-development, purchasing a gateway can reduce technical and security risks and avoid potential losses due to immature technology or security vulnerabilities.Purchase Or Custom Develop An IoT Gateway

When should I consider customising or developing an IoT gateway?

Customised or developed IoT-gateways should be considered when an organisation is facing a niche market, highly specialised requirements, the need to achieve quick time-to-market goals, the pursuit of better product control or integration with existing systems. By working with an experienced and professional engineering team, organisations can ensure that projects move forward smoothly and are completed on time.

Geared Towards A Niche Market: If your product or service is geared towards a specific niche market, it may be difficult to find an off-the-shelf gateway on the market that perfectly fits your needs. In this case, custom-developed IoT gateways can ensure that your product is better adapted to the specific needs of your target market and increase your competitiveness.

Highly Specialised Requirements: For certain industries or application scenarios, IoT gateways may be required to have specific functionality or performance requirements. For example, in industrial automation, a gateway may be required to have highly reliable real-time data transmission capabilities; in healthcare, a gateway may be required to meet stringent privacy and security requirements. These highly specialised requirements often cannot be met by purchasing an off-the-shelf gateway, and therefore require custom development.

The Need For Rapid Time-to-market: When an organisation is faced with a pressing market opportunity and needs to launch a product quickly to gain a head start, it may be more appropriate to develop or customise an IoT gateway in-house. Through self-development, companies can make flexible adjustments based on their own R&D progress and market feedback to ensure that their products hit the market on time and meet market demand.

Pursuing Better Product Control: Developing or customising an IoT gateway in-house means that a company can gain a deeper understanding of the core technology and specifications of a product. This helps companies to better control product quality, reduce costs and maintain initiative in subsequent product upgrades and maintenance.

Integration With Existing Systems: If an organisation’s existing systems or architecture are unique and require an IoT gateway to be deeply integrated with them, it may be difficult to buy an off-the-shelf gateway to meet the requirements. In such cases, custom development of an IoT gateway can ensure seamless integration with existing systems and improve overall system performance and stability.Advantages of Edge Computing Gateway in Automation Industry

There are advantages and disadvantages to buying an off-the-shelf IoT gateway and developing an IoT gateway on your own. Enterprises should weigh their choices based on their actual needs, technical capabilities and market positioning.

For those with a proficient hardware design team, developing an IoT gateway in-house may be a better option. Building the hardware from scratch, whether starting with PCB design or using wireless modules or single-board computers, ensures a perfect blend of hardware and software that meets an organisation’s specific business needs. In addition, companies that want to sell IoT solutions can establish a B2B relationship with a specialist IoT gateway manufacturer like IOTROUTER to build these customised hardware and resell them to their customers.

However, for companies that are less experienced in hardware design and PCB soldering, purchasing a programmable gateway may be a more practical option. This option focuses primarily on the development and porting of application software and does not require in-depth involvement in the development of the hardware layer. If an organisation has a dedicated software development team, they can significantly reduce their time to market by purchasing a programmable IoT gateway and customising the application for a project or client.

Finally, for businesses looking for plug-and-play, rapid deployment, purchasing a complete IoT gateway with an operating system and application installed may be most appropriate. While such devices may not be fully customisable, their ease of use and rapid deployment make them ideal for certain business scenarios.

Whichever scenario your business falls into, we recommend that you contact IOTROUTER for one-on-one consulting services for gateway customisation, development and more. With our dedicated team and extensive experience, we will be happy to provide you with professional support and resources to help you make the best decision for you and achieve a successful deployment of your IoT solution.

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