The Internet of Things is a popular name among technologies that can make an impact. Nevertheless, when it comes to developing applications and technology deployment, IoT projects are stalled almost 60% of the time as per a Cisco survey. Since the potential of IoT application development technology is high the projects based on the technology can make a huge impact if conducted and deployed successfully.
Though IoT Application Development is increasing at a rapid speed but designing and deploying IoT strategies is still challenging (for most of us) than executing other software initiatives as it involves different business and operational units to work in harmony rather than giving the overall control to IT. Due to this, even the most successful organisations can find it overwhelming to create and execute a successful IoT strategy.
There are various factors that contribute negatively to the success of IoT Application Development . Some of these are- lack of collaboration among multiple teams, choice of wrong technologies for a product, interoperability issues and lack of proper planning adhering to business goals. All these factors together make the development of the IoT project cumbersome and thus the decision makers do not find the end product aligning with their expectations.
IoT Application Development is useful for various industries and in order to get through all the mishaps and possible issues that come in the way of developing and IoT app, we have created a set of following tips that can help you with successful launch of your idea.
1. Define Your IoT Application Idea Clearly and Research Thoroughly
This might seem like the most obvious thing to do but many companies miss out to realise the importance of understanding and defining the problem statement with clarity. Though this is the first step to develop any product or app, it is one of the most important one when it comes to developing IoT applications. All the decision-makers of the company should set clear, measurable and attainable goals while identifying all the key success metrics responsible for achieving them.
Focusing on understanding the idea of the app in development and its impact in the long run in terms of productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction helps to measure the improved performance through the IoT solution. Before even taking the first step in the direction of development, more thought needs to be put in terms of relevancy of the concept itself. Thorough research helps determine the points of failure at an early stage while reducing the cost of development and saving time.
2. Ensure IoT Application Scalability Options
The IoT technology works on the principle of connected devices and systems and therefore, the understanding the scope of scaling these systems and services in an advanced manner is crucial. Developing IoT applications not only requires delivery of the end-product but also the surety of components and devices working together smoothly throughout their lifecycle.
Management of connected devices taking into consideration the amount of data that they capture while keeping in mind the factor of scalability is highly important to plan and ensure in advance.
3. Enable Hardware And Software Integration for IoT Solution
As described earlier, when it comes to developing IoT applications, the integration of different components plays an important role. Different hardware and software components involved in the development process must be integrated in a feasible manner. Building a successful IoT application from the scratch requires identifying the hardware, equipments and machinery from the inventory.
Furthermore, based on the requirements of components, companies might also need to partner with original equipment manufacturers for finding the appropriate sensors, adapters and other hardware. Identifying these needs from the initial stages helps the upcoming application to figure out the capabilities as well as the gaps that need attention. With this step in place, it gets easier for an organisation to develop an understanding of onboard physical devices for the connected platform.
4. Project Scope and Roadmap
In order to develop any successful IT project, be it related to IoT Application Development or not, it is highly important to have a well-defined project scope. Without a clear scope, the end-results of a project may drastically vary from what was initially decided. Therefore, before starting the project, you should define the expected outcomes and decide the focus and steps of the projects accordingly.
Another important aspect that is critical to starting any IoT project and succeeding with it is the process of preparing a roadmap. A roadmap gives an overview of the project timelines and how it is expected to progress over the time. Preparing a solid roadmap in advance is a good way to limit project risks and enhance the execution part of the IoT app.
5. Define Outcome based Metrics
Since IoT applications work on the concept of connected devices, the data obtained from these devices is large in quantity. Due to multiple data points, big datasets are generated which need to be carefully translated to useful metrics. With multiple sensors and data points, some are useful for analysis in real-time while the other are stored in long-term for more details. In order to develop a successful IoT application, the metrics should be decided
Taking an example of a connected car, the stats obtained through the engine of the car are considered in real-time while the data achieved through fuel consumption is stored for calculations in the end of quarter.
6. Intuitive User Experience for Business Decision Makers
While delivering an enterprise-specific IoT application, it is important to consider the user experience aspects based on the types of users working in the enterprise. In any typical IoT application solution, the user experience plays an important role. The UI layer is majorly exposed to two types of people namely operations managers and decision makers.
One group consists of the supervisors who have the power to send commands, control actuators and monitor devices remotely. Maintaining the smooth flow of the multiple interconnected devices falls on this group. Whereas the other group consists of analysts and business decision makers who make decisions on the basis of data-driven insights. This group has the dashboard access and control over the business policies and rules that reflect the changing needs of businesses.
7. Use Cases and Dataflows in IoT project
In order for an IoT project to be successful, it is crucial to base it on well-defined use cases. A well-defined use case is calculated based on three factors- its potential to drive revenue and adoption, reduce costs and solve a problem. Given use cases of an IoT application can be addressed with the help of a proper technology approach and planning.
An iterative cycle of creating prototype, testing it in the market and improving the detected flaws should be executed to ensure the usefulness of a use case. Moreover, data flows of the IoT application in development should also be taken into keen consideration as they act as the most important resources to extract value from data in a given time and budget.
As IoT solutions are interconnected with each other as well as the internet for data sharing, they are more susceptible to vulnerable and security issues. An additional level of security is needed to secure the devices as well as the sensors. Taking the right steps, you can ensure smooth development and higher security while developing in IoT application.