IoT Applications

A Short Guide to Developing Enterprise-grade IoT Applications

A recent Cisco survey found that IoT projects in organizations are delayed almost 60% of the time when

A recent Cisco survey found that IoT projects in organizations are delayed almost 60% of the time when it comes to development and deployment. This can be attributed to the fact that IoT still is considered a relatively new technology at its infancy. But there’s no question on IoT’s potential, however. If successfully deployed, IoT projects can potentially grant huge benefits.

The biggest step…

Despite the challenges and concerns, IoT application development only seems to be gaining momentum. As IoT requires various business and operational units to work harmoniously, it can be overwhelmingly challenging to design and deploy appropriate IoT strategies compared to carrying out most other software initiatives. Executing an effective IoT strategy is the biggest step towards succeeding with IoT.

Such a strategy will need to take various factors into account including collaboration among teams, interoperability, planning, adherence to business goals etc. Ironically, in many cases, considering all these factors and more to devise the perfect IoT strategy would make the IoT project cumbersome for organizations. Organizations investing in IoT are walking a thin line at this point.

Treading lightly…

There are things that companies can plan and execute that would subsequently help them with the successful deployment of their IoT projects.

Here is a list of useful tips for your enterprise to succeed with IoT project deployment.

Extensive research

The most obvious thing to do when undertaking an IT project is to define problem statements. It may sound surprising but many organizations simply don’t put an effort into understanding problems and defining problem statements clearly. This can end up causing a lot of problems for organizations developing IoT applications.

For a great beginning, every decision-maker in an organization should set measurable and attainable goals while identifying key success metrics to achieve those goals. This in turn calls for lots of research into understanding the idea behind the development of the IoT app and the impact of the app in terms of productivity, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. Good research can even cut development costs.

Understand scope for scaling IoT systems

The Internet of Things is all about connected devices and systems. If anything, an IoT ecosystem should be scalable. So it’s important to understand the scope of scaling IoT systems and services. It’s also important to ensure that once the IoT app is delivered, all components involved are working together in sync without impacting scalability in any way.

Understand hardware-software integration requirements

As mentioned before, IoT is all about components harmoniously working in a controlled, secure ecosystem. To make this possible, efficient integration of the components involved in the development process is vital not to mention feasible.

With IoT being a complicated concept, ensuring feasible integration of software and hardware components may require organizations to partner with equipment manufacturers and IoT specialists. Identifying such requirements and needs in earlier stages enables organizations to clearly comprehend the IoT application’s capabilities and its shortcomings. The information from this phase can be used to fix those areas that need more attention.

A clear scope of the project

Any IT project, be it IoT app development or something else, needs to have a properly defined project scope lacking which the project may deliver end results totally different from what was expected. Before commencing the project, it’s important to define what the project is expected to deliver as well as the steps to be taken for the project to deliver them. One great approach to do all this is to develop a project roadmap.

A project roadmap gives stakeholders an overview of the project which includes everything from the project’s timelines to expected outcomes and expected progress milestones. An added benefit to this approach is that it limits project risks. When it comes to enterprise IoT app development, a roadmap can also be useful to the development team to measure their progress and check their achievements during the development lifecycle.

Determine important metrics

As there will be a lot of connected devices in an IoT ecosystem, the data obtained from these devices will be very large. The presence of multiple data points means there will potentially be copious amounts of big data sets. Some of these data hide priceless insights that could potentially contribute to a faster growth for the organization.

This is why real-time big data analytics is trending amongst enterprises. Provided an enterprise is willing to invest in big data tools and approaches, they will be able to translate those volumes of data into useful metrics.

Prioritize intuitive user experience

A great user experience is a critical aspect of an enterprise-grade IoT application. The user experience should be based on the types of users. A typical enterprise mobile application features a UI layer built for manager-level personnel of the enterprise as well as its decision makers.  

In an IoT environment, on the other hand, there would be a ‘Supervisors’ group – people who send commands, control actuators, and monitor the connected devices. They are responsible for ensuring the harmony of the connected devices. Then there are other groups namely analysts, technical support, and decision-makers – each serving different purposes. The app’s UX should be tailored to each of them.

Determining use cases

The IoT project’s success also depends on whether the project was based on well-defined use cases. The use cases should be defined while taking into account the product’s potential to drive revenue & adoption, reduce costs, and solve a problem that bothers the targeted user base.

The usefulness of use cases can be ensured via a methodology that encourages an iterative cycle of releasing prototypes, testing them in the market, detecting flaws, and rectifying them.

Conclusion

At present, leveraging IoT for enterprise benefits requires great proficiency combined with deep knowledge. The technology is susceptible to many vulnerabilities and security issues which require focused attention more so than many enterprises presume. IoT is nevertheless a worthy investment. If your enterprise is willing to invest in IoT but lacks the expertise, we can help you out. Partner with AOT to maximize benefits from your IoT investment. Contact us for a deeper, more educative discussion.

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