The phrase "Internet of Things (IoT)" refers to an ecosystem of physical devices with sensors or actuators, connectors, and data transmission capability. This includes everything from mobile devices, smart-home gadgets, digital devices implanted in humans or animals, and wearables to automobiles and airplane engines — all of it connected to the Internet.
Today, billions of gadgets are connected and generate vast volumes of data every day. To make the best use of this data, it is crucial to have the right IoT architecture. There are different types of architecture for different projects. But all include handling huge volumes of data.
What does an IoT architect do?
IoT technology has enabled a range of organizations to operate in a more streamlined way and use data to improve customer service. Companies can also make better informed business decisions and increase revenue and business worth.
Organizations need knowledgeable IoT architects to enable them to realize business value from IoT. According to Gartner research vice president Eric T. Heidt, as quoted in an online article, IoT architects "are responsible for the vision, strategy and end-to-end architecture of IoT solutions."
As more and more businesses realize that connected devices can enable them to streamline business processes, cut costs, enhance customer experience, take better business decisions and increase revenues, demand for competent IoT architects will grow.
An IoT architect is responsible for enabling their organization to modernize business processes and leverage data to solve a range of business issues. A competent IoT architect builds IoT architecture that will enable optimum management of large amounts of data generated by connected devices. An IoT solution has many integrated parts, which is why it is essential to design a target IoT architecture.
Depending on the organization, typical responsibilities of an IoT architect may include some or all of the following:
Directing the creation of IoT vision and technical strategy — An IoT architect collaborates with business and IT heads to develop an IoT vision and devise a technical strategy to support this vision. He or she also communicates the concept to main stakeholders.
Creating end-to-end IoT architecture — An IoT architect plans, determines and documents the organization's IoT objective and makes sure that the architecture is capable of handling not only present-day business requirements but also scaling up to meet future demands.
Assisting in the design and development of discrete IoT solutions — An IoT architect supports solution architects in designing, developing and implementing IoT solutions.
Facilitating and streamlining process development — An IoT architect collaborates with engineers and others to systematize the process of developing IoT solutions. She or he also ensures that necessary modifications and improvements are implemented in line with changing requirements.
Interacting with various business and operational groups in the organization — An IoT artchitect works with business and IT managers and developers in order to establish business goals for various IoT solutions. They must also see that these solutions fit in with current operational processes.
Ensuring scalability, high availability, security and flexibility — An IoT architect is responsible for designing scalable platforms that can handle increasing volumes of data, reliable systems that don't fail, and flexible applications that can accommodate changes as well as new data and outcomes.
Keep an eye on
An IoT architect needs to continue learning about developments in the IoT business and about data quality, data governance, and metadata standards. It is crucial for an IoT architect to stay abreast of the latest Data Management practices.
IoT security is also key priority. Implementing up-to-date data governance practices helps to minimize security incidents. An IoT architect must also develop knowledge of new technologies and tools in her or his area of specialization.
Training and employment background
Successful IoT architects have a combination of technical expertise, business sense, and delivery capabilities. Normally, IoT architects are required to have a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering or a related subject.
An IoT architect must have in-depth understanding of current data management practices in the context of Internet of Things. Solid data governance capability is a crucial skill. Communication and leadership skills are very important because this role requires collaboration with management, business and IT teams, and other stakeholders.
An IoT architect needs to develop superior engagement skills in order to interact with different groups for the purpose of defining business goals. Knowledge of relevant technologies is necessary because an IoT architect needs to be able to identify the most appropriate technologies to apply to address a specific business problem, the strong and weak points and how to implement each technology.
An IoT architect needs to develop an understanding of connectivity technologies, network architecture, IoT chips, data models, application design with emphasis on services, microservices, API and protocols.
IoT certifications can help tech professionals aspiring to work as IoT architects develop current data management skills and technical expertise in IoT development.
Some leading IoT certifications include:
Arcitura Certified IoT Architect
The Certified IoT Architect credential is managed by Arcitura. It comprises three courses that cover IoT technology and architecture, with emphasis on radio protocols, IoT architecture layers and telemetry messaging.
To earn this credential you need to pass exam IOT90.01 with a passing grade. Additional information is available online.
Cloud Credential Council (CCC) IoT Foundation
This vendor-neutral certification from the Cloud Credential Council is designed for professionals aspiring to understand the business potential of the Internet of Things, business advantages, IoT terminology and concepts. It is a non-technical foundational certification.
The certification covers IoT architecture, security and governance, monetization models and business use cases. It is recommended that those who wish to earn this certification have a basic understanding of Internet concepts and cloud computing technologies.
Additional information is available online.
CertNexus Certified Internet of Things Practitioner (CIoTP)
The vendor-neutral CIoTP certification is designed for technologists looking to develop a foundational understanding of basic IoT concepts, tools and technologies. The CIoTP credential demonstrates the ability to design, implement, run and administer an IoT ecosystem.
To earn this certification, you need to pass the ITP-110 exam with a passing score of 60 or 61 percent. This exam is accredited under the ISO/IEC 17024:2012 standard.
Additional information is available online.
There are a number of other IoT certifications available. It's best to take a look at those that cover IoT architecture and identify one that has industry recognition, and suits your level of experience and career goals.