IoT, Big Data, and Cloud Computing: What's the Relation Between Them?

By NIIT Editorial

Published on 18/10/2021

8 minutes

Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and Cloud Computing are three distinct technological domains with conjoining applications. Each of these domains has its individual advantage, but they yield exceptional benefits for businesses around the world when combined. This amalgamation can create technological sorcery for innovation if it is designed, implemented, and operated properly. 

Since we live in a world where connectivity is the basic requirement for our social and working environment, almost all our devices are constantly connected to the internet and each other. This makes the flow of data easy and less cumbersome. This data transformation is imperative for systems and communications within an organization. This article will focus on the relationship between IoT, Big Data, and Cloud computing, but we first need to understand these three domains individually. 

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is a system in which a lot of devices are connected via the internet. The “thing” is any device that is assigned through an ‘IP Address’. This ‘thing’ is tasked to send and collect data using the internet without any manual interference. This aids the connected devices to make decisions and interact with the external environment. The devices connected can be used for automation as well as real-time control. It is a cost-effective technique to control the actions of all the connected devices. This is the main reason why businesses today are drawn towards using IoT as it helps in increasing revenue, cutting down operating costs, and increasing efficiency.   

Big Data

In simple words, big data is the conglomeration of data that is too large to be extracted by traditional methods of data processing. This data consists of structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data collected and then analyzed to acquire insights into the prevalent business trends. Big data analysis comprises various processes like collecting data, data storage, search, sharing, transfer, information privacy, etc. Big data is used by tech giants in their applications, by governments to monitor their economy and criminals, and it also contributes to international development.

Cloud Computing 

In general terms, cloud computing is a technique wherein different kinds of applications, data, and services are delivered to the internet cloud. Cloud computing is an on-demand delivery of data, applications, files, and various other IT resources via cloud service programs through the internet. It is on a pay-as-you-go basis. It is a very economical alternative as it doesn’t require a user to be physically present in a particular place to acquire or retrieve the data. The user can directly access or store data on a remote server which can be accessed from anywhere in the world using the internet. It cuts down the on-site infrastructure costs for storage, processing, and analyzing. All these big organizations use cloud computing because it is cost-effective, and it also helps in data protection and data privacy. There are fewer chances of confidential data being breached or leaked. Cloud computing mainly consists of three services: 

  1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): It provides a basic level of IT infrastructure via the Cloud. It offers operating systems, networking techniques, security, and servers to design and develop applications, services for setting up databases, and development tools. It aids the user in avoiding the expenses of buying the entire server or datacentre. Since each resource is offered as a distinct module, the users have to pay for only those modules they require to use.  
  2. Software as a Service (SaaS): This provides licensed software on a subscription basis. SaaS is a new technique that delivers software applications over the internet as a service. The user pays only when he wants to use that software. The user just requires a web browser to run the software.  
  3. Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS is a process of delivering a platform for application development through the Cloud. This is basically for computer programmers who require software to build their codes and programs. PaaS modules comprise web servers, databases like Azure, runtime systems like Java, etc. This is a time-saving process as the cloud provider will download, install and update the applications itself and the user will not have to download them manually.  

Correlation between IoT, Big Data and Cloud Computing

Now that we have a basic idea of what these three domains are, it’s important to know that their combination yields exceptional benefits for businesses around the world. To put it in simpler terms, IoT is the origin of the data, and Big Data is the analytic platform for the data, and Cloud computing is the place for storage and accessing the data. 

  • Relationship between IoT and Big Data 

Whenever any data is required to be extracted for analysis in an organization, IoT is the source of that data extraction. After the data has been sourced from IoT, Big Data helps in extracting that data and then analyzing the data to acquire necessary information. Apart from processing large chunks of data provided by the IoT, Big Data also facilitates storage of the result of the analyzed data as well. IoT is the basic input for Big Data. This entire process helps in making better business decisions based on the analytics provided by Big Data.   

  • Relationship between IoT and Cloud Computing

IoT facilitates communication between several devices like laptops, mobile phones, speakers, printers, etc. – all with the help of the internet. Since Cloud computing also works with the help of the internet, it is needless to say that IoT and Cloud Computing complement each other. These two domains work in a collaboration wherein Cloud Computing is used to store the data provided by IoT. We all know that the Cloud is virtual storage having a centralized server that can be accessed whenever required from anywhere on this earth. Sometimes, the IoT generates large amounts of data packets which can be difficult to transfer using the traditional methods, but with the help of Cloud Computing, these large data packets can travel through the internet. The union of these two domains permits automation of computer systems in a very economical way providing real-time control and data monitoring. 

  • Relationship between Big Data and Cloud Computing

As explained above, Big Data is the amalgamation of large sets of data and the Cloud is the location where this data is stored and processed, making use of the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. The main reason for using cloud computing for Big Data is the scalability of the cloud environment. The cloud can offer various adequate data management methods irrespective of the volume of the data. It also fosters real-time processing of Big Data. Since Cloud Computing works on a pay-as-you-go basis, it is a cost-efficient, quick and convenient way to store and process Big Data.


From the above discussion, it is clear that these individually exclusive technologies are interdependent. It is a fact that Cloud Computing provides a common platform for IoT and Big Data to perform their respective functions. The main benefit of using these technologies together is that it is scalable. The Cloud fosters the augmentation of Big Data and data analytics. Another advantage is that it is cost-efficient as there is no need for any physical infrastructure to get all these three domains working. This further aids in accessing the data from remote locations as everything is stored in the Cloud, which can be obtained anytime and anywhere. 

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), more than 90% of IoT data will be stored on the Cloud platform in the coming five years. The two main reasons behind it are:

  • A huge amount of IoT data will be generated that will be provided to the Big Data.
  • To reduce the problem of data mixing in IoT to exploit its maximum potential. 

The bottom line is that using IoT, Big Data, and Cloud Computing together will result in better connectivity, the flow of data, and communication between different devices. This convergence can anchor a new range of decision-making systems in any business organization. Additionally, it will also encourage innovation and employment.


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