The Internet of Things (IoT) has been labeled the next Industrial Revolution, and for good reason. It will continue to transform the world. At its core, IoT is a network of devices that are all connected to the Internet, gathering and exchanging data between each other. The global IoT market was valued at over $600 billion in 2014, and it is estimated that almost $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next 5 years. It is predicted that 24 billion IoT devices will be employed by 2020. Businesses will be the top adopters of IoT. This makes understanding the major technical aspects of IoT application development critical to your business.
The major components of IoT application development
While business managers may not understand all of the technical nuances of IoT application development, they should have a general understanding of the components in an IoT system:
- Devices – There is no IoT without devices connected to the internet. These physical devices are often simple in construction but businesses must still take into account such factors as cost, battery life, sensor capability, and reliability when developing and selecting devices and their components. Software Design Solutions can assist your system architects in choosing the best embedded device platform for your needs.
- Embedded Software – One of the most critical pieces in the IoT chain is the software embedded in the devices, which enables them to communicate with the cloud and with other smart devices. Early software prototyping can provide insight into the required processing power and system performance prior to hardware design finalization, therefore keeping down the costs and risks associated with hardware development. This is one of the pieces of the IoT puzzle where Software Design Solutions can ensure success. Our experienced engineers provide consulting services in software engineering for embedded systems.
- Communications – How will your device communicate with the rest of the world? Will you leverage Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, or a LAN to send data to the Cloud? If you’re using multiple sensors, will each sensor communicate with the Cloud or is it wiser for you to leverage an over-arching gateway for communication? Your business needs and goals will drive the answers to these decisions.
- Cloud Platform – This component involves data collection and analysis, as well as the application programming interfaces – the APIs – that applications will use to get at that data. Decisions here are again made based on the overall business plan for your IoT vision.
- Applications – This simply refers to what your customers and end users see and use each day. You may need different applications for desktop and mobile use. Wearable technology applications may also come into play here, depending on your area of operation.
Beyond the system components, there are a few other issues business managers need to be aware of.
Other business issues surrounding IoT
As a business manager, you must look at the bigger picture, and when it comes to IoT there are a few key issues to address:
- Privacy and security – Increased concerns about security and data privacy come along with the growth of IoT. Unauthorized access to devices and data security are serious issues your business will need to address as you invest in IoT. Witness this and this and this.
- Regulations – This issue is directly tied to data security, with U.S. regulators focused on creating a connected world that also offers maximum security. Standards regarding data protection and privacy, right of deletion, and data portability are being addressed within the U.S., and globally.
Businesses will need to remain vigilant in adhering to all standards and regulations in regard to these issues.
Don’t do it alone
IoT development entails multiple steps involving numerous players in the field. It is hard to achieve success in IoT without some outside expertise. When it comes to embedded software, Software Designs Solutions has the required experience, talent, and tools. Our full-time staff offers consulting for all of your embedded software needs. Combined with our robust product toolkit, we will work with you to ensure successful development of your embedded software.
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