6 Approaches to Developing IoT Solutions More Efficiently




By Alexandra Sciocchetti (@AlexSciocchetti), ThingWorx Marketing

Organizations across all industries are identifying ways to benefit from the Internet of Things. However, building an IoT solution not only requires various components, but also a very diverse set of skills, which often leaves companies wondering how to get started or how to create a positive ROI as the end result.

The good news is, that selecting the right tools and technologies can help expedite the process. In a recent blog series that originally appeared on the Product Lifecycle Report, I wrote about different approaches to making IoT solution development more efficient. Here is a quick rundown of the 6 key takeaways:

1. Changing how to develop IoT solutions

International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that the worldwide IoT market will grow to $1.7 trillion by 2020. While the IoT market is growing at an unrelenting pace, the number of IoT developers isn’t changing quite as fast. In fact, a study conducted by VisionMobile shows that we will need 4.5 Million IoT developers by 2020. Considering the complexity of IoT solutions, it comes as no surprise that IoT developers require a very diverse skill set to master the many different components and aspects of developing an IoT solution.

In order for organizations to create value from the IoT while still generating a positive ROI, organizations will have to change the way we develop IoT solutions and make the process not only easier, but also faster and more efficient. IoT platforms have the ability to solve this dilemma by providing the technologies to connect all relevant components and tools to develop IoT solutions. Read more…

2. Leveraging the power of the IoT ecosystem instead of trying to do it all

In addition to IoT platforms, organizations will have to look for other components such as compatible hardware, extensions, integrations to 3rd party systems, apps, etc. to develop an IoT solution. Instead of exhausting resources trying to build all those components in-house, organizations should turn to the ecosystem, which can satisfy these requirements. Looking at the smartphone industry and its achievement in app development, it becomes clear what impact the joint effort of an entire ecosystem can have.

Leveraging the ecosystem and their existing offerings is not only more efficient, but also allows each partner in the ecosystem to focus on what they can do best, thus yielding higher quality IoT solutions as the end result. Read more…

3. Developing IoT solutions that meet future requirements

The scope and requirements of an IoT solution regularly change as organizations are increasingly integrating IoT into their business. Being able to efficiently evolve an IoT solution alongside these changing requirements will ultimately define the solution’s usefulness and value in the future. Therefore, picking an IoT technology that is designed to easily integrate 3rd party systems and products as well as extend the functionality with additional components at any time will enable organizations to not only meet the requirements of their current use case, but also to scale in future projects as well.

Finally, ensuring that the IoT technology of your choice is supported by an ecosystem of partners and developers that offer complementary technology and out of the box functionality will save resources in the long-term. Read more…

4. Finding compatible technology that perfectly integrates with your IoT solution

Along the way while developing your IoT solution, you will eventually have to decide which technologies to integrate into your solution. While cost and functionality are deciding factors that come to mind immediately, you might also want to think about whether the technologies you are planning to use have been tested to work with the IoT platform you are using and how easily they can be integrated.

Consider checking whether the provider of the IoT platform provides a list of compatible and tested technologies or even pre-built software components that allow for an easy integration of the device. The resources you will be able to save following this approach will most certainly make up for any potential costs savings you might have realized by only deciding based on the price of the technology. Read more…

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5. Fostering collaboration to create IoT value

The ecosystem plays a major role in developing IoT solutions efficiently as ecosystems provide many of the components you need for your solution. How easily you can leverage the ecosystem will therefore have an immediate impact on the efficiency of your development process. Online marketplaces for IoT allow consumers and providers of IoT technology to collaborate and share resources in an easy and effective way, enabling both parties to deliver results more quickly. Additionally, co-creating value and sharing pre-built components accelerates IoT adoption among all industries. Read more…

6. Taking IoT technology for a test drive before making any purchase decisions

When adopting an IoT strategy, users typically have not had many opportunities to gain experience with any of the IoT technology on the market. Before making any purchase decisions, you should try to get a real feel for the IoT technology you are planning to purchase. Some technology vendors offer developer zones that give both novice and experienced users a guided tutorial of the different aspects of the technology.

Evaluating the functionality and usability of the technology beforehand will give you a much better picture of what you are getting and allows you to purchase the technology that truly offers everything you are looking for. Read more…

Conclusion

While there are many components to making IoT development easier and more efficient, the approaches shared in this list can help you understand which steps to take to make your IoT projects successful while simultaneously creating a positive ROI.

To learn more about the IoT ecosystem and its existing offering, visit the ThingWorx Marketplace.