The cloud and the Internet of Things have a lot in common. More than you might expect, actually. You cannot have one without the other. The decentralized, distributed nature of the cloud makes it a necessary foundation for IoT. This isn't the only way the two are inextricably linked, however.

We've written about edge computing before. About how this relatively recent evolution of the cloud will, alongside 5G, be essential for the growth of the Internet of Things. Today, we're going to explore one more aspect of how IoT and the cloud are inextricably interconnected.

Data.

Cloud computing and IoT both greatly increase the efficiency of everyday tasks. They both provide us with functionality and convenience which would otherwise be completely impossible. And each shares a complementary relationship with the other.

The IoT generates massive amounts of information, whilst the cloud provides a pathway for that data to reach a specific destination and the processing power necessary to parse and analyze it. In addition to providing a framework through which IoT devices stay connected both with one another and with a central server, the cloud also acts as an interface for the end-user. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps provide everything from control of basic functionality to advanced analytics.

Most businesses simply do not have the necessary infrastructure to support the large-scale processing and collection required to gain insights from IoT-generated data. Cloud-based solutions provide a level of data integration that's often impossible via in-house software. This, in turn, allows a business to identify trends both internally and externally which otherwise may have gone completely unnoticed. 

Integration between the cloud and the IoT has already led to a new form cloud model, known as edge computing.  Our prediction is that moving forward, SaaS and Platform-as-a-Service functionality will be further baked into the edge, as distributed nodes play a greater and greater role in data management. Further evolution of the edge, perhaps, best termed as IoT-as-a-Service. 

Cloud computing and hyperconnectivity are the future and will continue to evolve in tandem with one another. As professionals continue the push for a standardized cloud security model, we will gradually see more business use cases for connected endpoints. Advanced analytics will provide insights on everything from employee behavior to asset management and integrated cloud platforms that incorporate connected endpoints will eventually become commonplace.

We'd suggest preparing yourself for this inevitable future now. 

Seek data science certifications. Follow developments in the IoT space, and pay careful attention to the different proposed security frameworks and policies. Perhaps most importantly,  seek out a security solution that allows you to manage and control IoT devices rather than solely managing computers and smartphones. 

By pursuing a firm grasp of data science, understanding the management of connected endpoints, incorporating the right technology, and studying the relationship between the cloud and the IoT, you add a formidable tool to your business arsenal, and a potential competitive advantage for your organization as well.