It is tempting to use a trendy IOT platform for your next automation or data acquisition project, but is it the correct decision? The hardware cost will certainly be lower, but what about the program development and ongoing maintenance costs? The biggest cost for any automation system today is the application software program, and for PLCs the IEC61131 languages have significant advantages in ease of use, faster development time, and reduced ongoing maintenance costs. Whereas IOT systems tend to be programmed in a high level language like Python or C/C++, which is cost effective if the application is small and you have an IT background, but just doesn’t work for more complex tasks. Traditional high level languages are great at data processing but you can quickly get into a mess when using them to control an automation process. Of course if you can amortize the software cost over a large number of systems then this could tip the scales towards an IOT based system. However as the automation task becomes more complex IEC61131 on a PLC platform will be the clear winner.