Mariola Nowak
Content Manager
None
23.11.2021 | 7 min

IoT software development for industry is a must. Read what to consider when building an app

The power of the Internet of Things comes from its ability to collect large amounts of data and transform it into useful information (Bertil Thorvaldson, ABB Robotics)

IoT software development for industry is a must. Read what to consider when building an app - 2021 53
Table of Contents
  • How IoT Helps Businesses across Different Industries?
  • What Are the Benefits of the Internet of Things for Industry?
  • What is essential in the IoT development stage?
  • What are the different stages of IoT application development?
  • How to choose the right IoT software company?

The power of the Internet of Things comes from its ability to collect large amounts of data and transform it into useful information (Bertil Thorvaldson, ABB Robotics)

According to McKinsey Report November 2021, by 2030, the global market for Internet of Things devices will reach from $5.5 trillion to $12.6 trillion in value globally. Most of the potential is in B2B applications, where most IoT value can be created, with around 65 percent of the estimated IoT value potential. By 2024, the number of IoT connections will exceed 83 billion. There is ample evidence that the connected device industry will only continue to grow for the foreseeable future.

So how does this IoT boom affect product developers and manufacturers? Developing software in the era of Industry 4.0 requires a strategic and focused product development cycle. You may be wondering how to leverage the Internet of Things to streamline operations and deliver differentiated products and services. This requires creating an IoT application to combine sensor data with predictive analytics and machine learning technologies to create intelligent user environments for your audience.

How IoT Helps Businesses across Different Industries?

IoT solutions are used in manufacturing (Industry 4.0), logistics, oil & gas, transportation, energy/utilities, mining & metals, aviation, and other industrial sectors.

The industry is currently focusing on using smart sensors and actuators to improve manufacturing and industrial processes. Industrial IoT provides the ability to harness the power of intelligent machines and real-time analytics to leverage the data that machines have produced for years in industrial settings. It makes them excellent at capturing and analyzing data in real-time and providing important information that business owners can use to run the business faster and more accurately.

What Are the Benefits of the Internet of Things for Industry?

Industrial IoT has great potential for performance monitoring and development in manufacturing industries, quality control, sustainability, safety, and traceability. It can be developed for predictive maintenance and better performance in service, energy management, and asset tracking. With these connected sensors, companies detect where inefficiencies occur, which saves time and money. The Internet of Things has opened up new opportunities for growth and optimization. 83% of organizations that have implemented IoT technology have improved their productivity.

Creating your own IoT application has several key advantages. First, you can easily customize a solution to meet the specific needs of your organization. Custom solutions allow you to adapt to the evolution of your device fleet and changing requirements.

Second, by using IoT solutions, you gain broad access to all the business data you need, which is integrated with analytics platforms so you can scale new revenue channels. It greatly facilitates decision-making and analytical prediction based on real-time and historical data.

What is essential in the IoT development stage?

Cooperation and prioritization

If you decide to build an app, you must be involved as a Product Owner and available to know every step of the process. This is important throughout the project work, not just at the beginning of the requirements set. During the execution of the project and the requirements setting, this is most important.

It is different in the case of corporations, as there is often no single decision-maker there - it is worth setting priorities in product development from the very beginning to develop it in a structured way in project sprints.

Scalability

Whether your application stays up to date depends mainly on scalability. It refers to building additional features commensurate with business needs and adapting to those changes, so you're not starting from scratch when your business needs to evolve again. Additional functionality means, for example, managing more data and many different devices and processes. Maciej Sułek, CTO at OG, states: "Defining the scope of work early on allows you to get the technology right and identify right away which parts of it will need to be scalable. Of course, this is not always a priority, and sometimes in the case of building MVP, we consciously shorten this stage with the client to show some functionality while knowing that to achieve scalability, it will be necessary to rewrite the code".

Security

Security is the biggest challenge for IoT; however, due to the large number of connected devices operating on a single network, IoT technology is somewhat vulnerable to data breaches. Therefore, it is imperative to follow best practices for application security - encryption, two-factor authentication, and other techniques to ensure that your IoT application and devices are used securely by authorized users.

What does it look like in building IoT applications at OG?

"In every project, we pay a lot of attention to ensuring security. Of course, it is more difficult to ensure when we have many components that communicate with the system. We use various basic methods such as connection encryption, authorization based on proven mechanisms, or separation of privileges. Additionally, depending on the project and its architecture, we add e.g., network separation, VPN, disk encryption, etc." explains M. Sułek

What are the different stages of IoT application development?

You can find the whole process of building the application in the article “How we do IT.” We will now focus on a few key stages.

Step 1: Discovery workshops

In this phase, the most important thing is to define the goal of the project. It's a good idea to identify the problem you want to solve with an IoT system at the beginning. That way, you don't waste valuable time and money on untargeted solutions. You can create a solution for internal use or develop an app and turn it into a startup and an app for offsite use. If you choose the latter option, you will also need to conduct market research to identify your competitor andy your target audience and needs.

Step 2: Planning the architecture and choosing a specific IoT technology

It's worthwhile at this stage to consider which platforms are reliable, test their tools, and update them regularly. With your DevOps engineers, choose the mechanical, electrical, firmware, cloud, mobile, and database architecture that best meets the market needs, usage factors, and product constraints.

What technology do OG developers use to build IoT applications?

M.S: "It depends on the specifics of the project. On our side, there is usually a device that communicates with another device or a server using an MQTT queue (which can be set up on some server, or we use AWS IoT Core). The rest of the system is often already characteristic of a typical application, so we have Django (or another framework, but usually Python). If we are dealing with microservices architecture, we rely on lambdas. On the FE side, we have either a WEB application in React or a mobile application - usually React Native."

Step 3: Building prototype

The prototype building process can be time-consuming, but it is well spent time. You'll discover the minimum parameters you need to complete your IoT project before deployment when it is easier and more affordable to make adjustments. Low-fidelity prototypes that can be completed quickly allow potential pitfalls to surface sooner rather than later, which can save the project financially altogether.

How to choose the right IoT software company?

Starting your own IoT project can seem daunting. The two most significant factors contributing to failure are lack of internal IoT experience and reliability of platform (hardware/software). The IoT industry is very complex, making it challenging to choose the right platform for your IoT device. Things aren't made easier because each vendor sells IoT differently but will inevitably try to explain their solution best for you. To choose the right partner, you need to understand exactly how their solution and experience will allow you to add value to your business.

Therefore, when building an IoT device, don't undertake all the work yourself. Consult with experts who have access to technology to help you get the job done.

It's worth looking for IoT software vendors who:

  • are experienced in IoT application development
  • have completed large projects
  • have positive reviews from previous and current clients
  • cannot only help you build an IoT system but bring it to market.

Suppose you want to know what IoT projects we have already done read Case Studies. As M. Sułek says, "One of the projects we are especially proud of is Kyoto (energy sector), where the operation of heavy equipment was involved, so the quality and security had to be at the highest level. With this initial release, the company went public and started to grow - I feel we had a big part in that."

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