The Internet of Things (IoT) and its manufacturing sector cousin, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are finally beginning make a large impact in the world. Notably, a recent report published in Thomas Insights predicts the worldwide IIoT market to increase from $1.67 billion to $12.44 billion from 2018 to 2024: a CAGR of 40%. This growth drives an increasing demand for IoT apps, creating a significant opportunity for digital agencies with the skills to develop mobile apps for this market.
However, building a functional IoT platform and associated apps requires a focused effort, especially compared to standard mobile apps. For example, seamlessly interacting with a remote IoT device requires keeping latency as low as possible. Additionally, many complex IoT device management systems include cloud integration, machine learning, data analytics, and other enterprise level capabilities.
Needless to say, the process of IoT development remains one filled with significant pitfalls your project team needs to avoid. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these potential problems while also providing a few insights on how to prevent them from derailing the project. In the end, this advice helps you build an effective IoT platform that successfully meets your business needs.
One of the most widely known use-cases for the IoT largely involved controlling smartphone lights, shades, locks, and other smart home devices. But when considering the business applications for the Internet of Things, a whole host of intriguing possibilities come to the fore. Notably, these relatively complex systems require a detailed analysis and design to avoid any issues.
As highlighted above, many business IoT applications perform the real-time collection and analysis of data. Remember, one of the main hallmarks of any top-shelf IoT platform relates to its seamless performance and responsiveness. At the same time, constantly operating remote devices generate massive amounts of data. Efficiently managing these huge data pools in an IoT platform plays a crucial role in the overall effectiveness of the entire system.
When considering your IoT product development roadmap, design a system that uses real-time analytics to determine any data worthy of long-term storage. Finally, discard the data not necessary for additional analytics or reporting needs. This approach ensures you don’t drown the entire platform in data. Business users get access to the information they need for effective decision making, and the entire platform runs as efficiently as possible.
Back in the early days of the IoT in the smart home, a story about a hacked refrigerator sending phishing emails hit the technology news. While IoT cybersecurity continues to improve, your team needs to make security a critical focus throughout the project. In short, don’t try to bake a few cybersecurity routines into your platform at the end of the effort.
In short, large IoT platforms remain attractive targets for unethical hackers and other cybercriminals. This is especially the case in home automation systems if the devices connect to a consumer’s relatively unprotected home network. Because of this risk, client and server authentication along with message encryption needs to be included as core functionality in your company’s IoT system and apps.
Speaking of message encryption, data privacy remains another crucial pitfall that might hamper the adoption and effectiveness of your company’s IoT platform. Protecting customer and client data lies right next to cybersecurity as core capabilities of any IoT development project. Data privacy becomes even more paramount when considering IoT healthcare systems, and the multitude of devices accessing the platform: everything from hospital equipment to patient wearables.
To successfully avoid this potential problem, your system needs to leverage the latest data encryption algorithms, in a similar manner as the platform’s cybersecurity approach. Also make sure you platform segregates customer data from the rest of the system’s data flow. A sharply-defined data governance approach ensures your platform treats data privacy with the importance it deserves.
With a myriad of IoT application providers on the market, your team needs to take care to architect a platform-agnostic system. When designing your system, keep avoiding fragmentation in mind when sourcing third-party hardware devices. You want products that integrate easily with other devices as well as your company’s entire application.
This same ease of integration goal applies to network and communication protocols, as well as the encryption algorithms discussed earlier. Also consider this issue when vetting APIs to leverage as part of the overall system. This analysis also influences any data analytics, reporting, or machine learning functionality included as part of the overall platform.
If you need help with IoT software development, connect with the experienced team at NineTwoThree. We boast a keen mix of technical experience and business acumen, with a robust track record of production top-shelf products for multiple industries. Schedule a conference with us to discuss the potential of a partnership.