What you need for making an IoT cloud of yours?

While there are bunch of readily available cloud solutions available, does it make sense to make your own? I will be giving my own views on this in this very fresh blog post. The opinions might differ person to person but will try to get the very facts straight!

When I started as an hobbyist on IoT development few years back it was dark and cloudy or should I say “non-cloudy”? There were limited resources for hardware and almost no good cloud solution! Things started changing very rapidly as IoT started becoming the buzzword and companies and businesses realized that it is right time to invest in IoT! Since then from big establishments to small start-ups have come up with easy to use, plugin type solutions for internet of things! Few IoT hardware prototype companies are also providing readily available cloud solution, which is easy to setup and code. And then there are big folks like Amazon, Microsoft, Google who are there with their cloud solutions as well. The question still remains that you gotta use these cloud solutions or is it worth enough to develop your own cloud platform?

what is good?

Well, it’s not difficult to answer to this very question! If you are an hobbyist and just want to get your hands on with IoT, it does make sense to use freely available off the shelf cloud solutions. There are many currently such as Thingspeak, Particle Cloud, etc. Just key in the Google search and you would get host of options. These are great solutions to start it. However, many of these cloud platforms provide free usage upto certain number of calls so if you are thinking of deploying it for anything big, you would exhaust out of this free quota very soon. If you are thinking of working it out for your customers then it is recommended that you use off the shelf solutions such as Amazon Web Service (AWS) or Microsoft Azure IoT cloud etc. However they are very very costly! so unless your client covers up the IT cost, you better say Nay for it!

However there’s a balancing solution out there! Instead of using SaaS (Software as a Service) model, use IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model and create your own cloud platform for yourself. First look at it will seem it like a gigantic task, however once you are done with the first one, you can package it and deploy for your many clients easily.

How to get started?

So basically what you need is to decide the cloud solution provider such as AWS or Azure. I’d recommend AWS with Linux OS. We have pretty much all the software open source and free for Linux OS. Once you narrow down on your selection, it’s the step to start thinking on what software you need to establish your functional cloud platforms. So if you are thinking of using MQTT then you might need Mosquitto or HiveMQ. You certainly need database to store the data so you have MySQL there or you can even chose from DynamoDB or MongoDB. You might need to create Web services which can be fueled with PHP or Java. You can find all of these and setup as per use. But first what you need is to decide on the architecture. Plan those basic steps already so you don’t end up in reforming them again.

Security

It’s essential that you secure each of the entities in your cloud with the best possible solutions out there! For security you need 2 important things – First Authentication and secondly Encryption! Authentication is required so only relevant users or clients can access the systems on your cloud using right ports or channels. However encryption is required so that all the data streams to and from your cloud are so well encrypted that it is impossible for hacker to decrypt it and get access to. Using TLS/SSL is the best and economical way of ensuring the proper encryption. The SSL certificates used also ensures that the connection from your client to your cloud is trusted and is not routed to some malicious site.

Why do we need own cloud

You don’t need it unless you don’t care on what happens or who may look at your data. With increasing number of IoT applications and even more increasing skills of the hacker community out there, it is becoming essential that you care for it. Otherwise your systems are prone to hacking and your and your clients data is compromised, which I don’t think will be liked by many of us!

Written by

Santosh Ambekar

IT and IoT Professional

Disclaimer : The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not reflect in any way those of the organizations or institutions of which he is a member.

How do we develop dictatorial leadership unconsciously!

Organizations or companies are made up of people, so the business style or the values of the company are largely the reflection of their top executives leadership styles. The success or failure of an organization depends on which style they adopt to at their core and at what time! Principally, we know there are four types of leadership styles – Participative, Consultative, Authorirative and Dictatorial. Well, we can not say any of this style is better than the other, because leadership is all about using the right style at right time which often calls for a “Situational Leadership” where a leader quickly takes over one style over the other when situation demands for it. However, the constant shift of leadership style is not as easy as we think. Although situation might demand one style, it can be largely influenced by other factors such as time, personal issues and pressure from top management. Knowingly or unknowingly these and the other factors slowly shifts us to adapt to one of the specific leadership style. What can possibly go wrong is to end up with a “Dictatorial” one!

Subconsciously great leaders develop “Dictatorial Leadership” with their behavior and most of the time they are not even aware of their effects happening around them. The fact is that “Dictatorial leadership” develops a big wall that the leaders fails to get the message from people on what possibly going wrong at the execution level of the organization. This leads to organization’s catastrophic failures in holding back the innovation and renewal. But how this all happens after all? How even the great leaders gets into the pitfall of repulsion created by dictatorial behavior? Here’s some insight into the inception of this dreadful behavior…

Unrealistic Challenges

Challenges keeps company’s heart alive. It fuels up the innovation and keeps it ahead of the competition. However, unrealistic challenges brings dreadful experience. We are aware of the situation and it’s complexity but we keep pushing people to achieve it and of course in the way we think of. Many times leaders presume it’s a fairly simple task without having the subject matter expertise and give undue pressure to their people. Because I have done something similar like this 30 years back makes me think it as an easy job! The fact is not only we are losing trust of the people but also repel them away giving alternatives or suggestions to overcome the challenge. The challenge always remains a challenge and never gets solved. Slowly we shut down the only way to get the solution and lead ourselves towards dictatorship!

Trust and fairness

Trust is the basic foundation of any relationship and it holds true even to the leaders and their followers. Building a trust takes time, so does maintaining it, but once the trust is established the leader is required to apply the fair rules to acknowledge it for the people. But this doesn’t happen all the time. Either leaders tend not to believe the people to stay with the benefit of the doubt or give excessive trust on few ones that they lose the grounds on fairness rules. This has an epidemic effect of good people losing the trust in return. People who are ignored becomes introvert and develops fear in mind. Again, unconsciously it puts down the leader to “dictatorial” mode.

Tactical Management

Lot of managers tend to do tactical management. They think that it is diplomatically perfect if a fear of “things” is induced on a fellow being. The strategy here that these leaders think that it will play a spell of “do-whatever-i-say”! Leaders create a circle of fear around their colleagues, about a job, their position, about the situation in the industry in order to retain them for a longer time in an organization. They often dictate the grim situation outside of the organization to develop a constant fear of the job only to realize later that these people turn out to fear of everything – even their jobs and assignments. They perform averagely and turns into “invisible employees”.

Internal politics

It’s the vicious venom in the organization. Internal politics kills the good in people and germinate the bad culture. People without talent but to grow on parasitic cultivation takes advantage of it and foster the culture of dominance leading to dictatorial culture. Many organizations have understood it and have been abolishing the internal politics to play fair with everyone.

As started this article, people make the organization and not the other way around, it is essential that we fight against any of such instincts that we come across. It is essential for the executive management to involve less with individual work but to analyze for any potential defects in the system that can lead to dictatorialship. Finally, if we trust people, make less of a micro-management and provide equal opportunities to all will make the overall management to be participative and propitious for their business!

Written by

Santosh Ambekar

IT and IoT Professional

Disclaimer : The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not reflect in any way those of the organizations or institutions of which he is a member.

Introducing our Instagram Handle

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Digital Marketing and your business

Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium. That’s what Wikipedia says about it! In today’s technology world, let’s see how much relevant this definition is!

The take off your business depends on the scale and height of it’s marketing! Few decades ago, the marketing brains were limited to only certain mediums, such as Newspapers, Posters, Television or a Radio. After the breakout of internet and its expansion in the last 10 years, the scenario has totally changed. People are spending more time on their mobiles phones than on a TV or a newspaper. This had conceived an idea of digital marketing few years back and now reaching to most definite, ubiquitous and swift method of marketing! People have also started buying things online and that has brought the marketing and buying on the same platform! so you can say that digital marketing is converting to revenue for a business almost instantaneously at most of the times..

How do we start with Digital Marketing?

This question might be bugging many of our minds and yet if you have no answer to it then you need to pause and look around! Most of the basic moves can be found just with yourself! The very very basic thing to start is with your own website.. It is very crucial that you spend most of your time and budget to create a wonderful experience for your product or a business. You website is everywhere. It is on your visiting card, on your brochures, and many of your potential customers will first have a look at your website. Your website depicts the class of your business, the values of your people and the richness of your product or a service. If you look around more, you will find many more assets that are your starting point for your digital marketing

Here are some best suggestions…

  • Website : Much has been told about it. and if you now know your website is your first impression, so make it look classy and easy. If you are selling a product, go for much simpler but yet classy looks and don’t make it too complex.
  • Create a blog : Blog is a very good and easy way to stay connected with your customer. You can write about your new product in your new blog or you can talk about the things you are working on. Blogs are contagious, so when they make journey though an internet, it brings you new customers from all around.
  • Social media : 80 – 90% of the online people today uses Social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram are the best mediums of Social media. One of the best thing about them is that they are free, create your page or a channel and start posting new updates. Link them up with your site and ask people to subscribe to other Social media channels. If you can make videos, you can also think of starting up a Youtube channel.

Other strategies

There are many other ways you can reach out to your customers and increase your product sell

  • Affiliate Marketing : You can let other users or marketers make digital marketing for you buy making them your business affiliate and providing them a small amount of money as an affiliate commission. However affiliate marketing brings some concerns as well, as your affiliates also makes a brand of your image in either a positive or a negative way.
  • Display advertising: You can post the display advertisement in any of the popular advertisers such as Google ads. Your ads can reach to your customer on websites, mobile apps, games etc
  • Email marketing : Create a channel where users or customers can subscribe to get email updates from you. This is where you will get their legitimate email ids to reach to. By making a database of emails ids, you can reach out with new updates in no time.
  • Social media and campaigns : Use your social media accounts such as Facebook or Twitter to post updates about new product or a service. You can also create some customer engagement campaigns to keep your customers engaged.

Digital marketing is a boon for all businesses, from smaller to larger. Unlike early days where the marketing mediums were too expensive for small businesses, today digital marketing provides free to premium options. It’s only upto user how they effectively use it!