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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Used by over half the population in the world, Android is the most popular operating system ever. With IoT making a name for itself, Android is obviously expected to bring more magic into the mix with innovative IoT-powered applications.

One of the major reasons behind Android’s popularity is that it’s free. Its many capabilities made it very appealing to both smartphone manufacturers and app developers worldwide. The large pool of Android developers today contributed many Android apps that make things much easier for common people. IoT promises the same thing, but on a different scale.

With IoT, various electronic devices from smartphones to tablets, refrigerators, and even microwave ovens would be connected to the internet, working in conjunction to do things that’s always been done with manual effort. Just like how AI can make IoT devices intelligent, the Android platform can bring apps that control the whole phenomena into reality.

The Android – IoT Ecosystem

IoT devices require an internet connection and sensors to transmit and receive information. The concept requires software to come to fruition, and a platform wherein the devices can function the way they should. Android is already on its way to being the go-to platform for IoT, and here are a few reasons why.

  • Universal front end: The open source Linux-based platform was given away by Google to be used in anyway a software architect can think of. Essentially anyone can modify its source code and customize it for just about any gadget. With so many mobile devices running on Android now, it can easily get itself ranked as the ideal front-end for IoT. Because it’s open source, it’s comparatively easier and cheaper to leverage Android for IoT. This way, IoT would be more accessible and affordable to consumers.
  • Apps-driven IoT: Gadgets are after all just hardware driven by software. It’s the same when it comes to IoT as well. Apps make IoT possible. Considering the exponential and consistent growth of Android app development, it’s safe to assume that it will have a big enough role in an IoT ecosystem.
  • The Java-Android connection: IoT devices today are primarily being built on Java. Android enables developers to use Java in a much more sensible fashion, unlike embedded Java which requires dedicated devices.

IoT Application of Android

The application of Android in IoT makes more sense when you consider the ecosystem of IoT. There are IoT devices and their sensors, data transfer mechanisms, and the programs that oversee the processes.

  • Sensors: IoT sensors can detect quite a lot of things including temperature and pressure, and can generate digital signals accordingly. Android’s open source nature, easy availability, and customizability makes it an ideal choice to get sensors functional. The OS meets the requirements to support a wide array of sensors as it is.
  • Devices: The IoT components run on a hardware with an OS. The devices are generally portable and small, and doesn’t use up too much power. Though we can’t definitively say that Android is the best option here as well, the popular platform can still deliver results. Android is widely considered reliable, despite being open source and free.
  • Data transfer: The sensor would be transmitting data. So there should be a data transfer mechanism in place. XMPP and MQTT are possibly the most popular open source implementations that facilitate data transfer, and Android supports both.
  • Program: The program handles data transmission and reception, and generally takes the form of a Linux server. The server is tasked with decoding and processing incoming data before subsequent analysis. If it’s a Linux server, Android would be apt considering it’s a modified version of the Linux kernel itself. Again, the open source nature of Android makes it a more feasible option with roles almost everywhere in the IoT ecosystem.

Basically what Android does is act as a medium that facilitates the collaboration between all the aforementioned elements in an IoT ecosystem.

Support from Google

A number of corporate behemoths have chosen to invest in IoT owing to its nigh unlimited prospects. Google apparently is on the list. The search engine giant released a dedicated IoT operating system last year, named Android Things – derived from the Android OS itself. This makes it easier for Android developers to reuse and refine their knowledge to develop Android IoT apps.

The Google IoT platform provides more leverage to IoT app development with Android Things. However, the company didn’t limit Android Things to Google IoT platform alone. It can be used in any IoT app development scenarios with any IoT cloud platforms.

Early adoption is worth it

Adopting the technology this early presents a lot of challenges for businesses. But barriers to entry are lower than ever now. Understanding IoT and building expertise in IoT apps can significantly impact and reshape enterprise technology. IoT is not just around the corner anymore. It’s slowly going mainstream. However, with many companies starting to build IoT devices with their own protocols, this can lead to a scenario where devices from different manufacturers are incapable of communicating with one another.

A standard protocol for information sharing and communication would soon be acknowledged, and Google is already pushing Weave to serve that purpose. While that happens in parallel, Android IoT app development would be gaining more momentum. Leveraging IoT now with support from Google and popular cloud services could be a worthy investment that may fetch many benefits for an enterprise in the long run.

You can already find android app development companies that figured out their way around everything IoT. It’d be best to approach Android developers who also have expertise in other sought-after technologies like the cloud and artificial intelligence as a right combination of these technologies would be the gamechanger for enterprises in the coming years.

AoT strives to make enterprises capable of wielding cutting-edge tech the right way with innovative digital solutions. If you would like to explore the prospects of leveraging an Android IoT app for your enterprise, why not drop us a message and share your thoughts with us over a cup of coffee?

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