Removing Obstacles to Make IoT Development More Efficient




Companies across all industries are identifying ways to benefit from the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT). With unlimited potential in sight, solution builders are clamoring for the best tools and technologies. Yet they find it often requires a lot of resources to build and implement solutions –resources that some can’t spare.

This article is the first in a series of five on different approaches that will make development more efficient. While each post is dedicated to one single approach, you will see how each influences the others and can generate significant results when applied in combination.

Let’s get started by looking at the current situation as well as some future trends. Everyone paying attention to studies covering IoT will have noticed that the market is growing at an unrelenting pace.

Who is going to develop tomorrow’s IoT-enabled solutions and services?

Regardless of which study you look at, the numbers are extremely high. One must wonder who is going to engineer and develop all these technologies and solutions that will contribute to this immense growth.

With the numbers skyrocketing, one number isn’t changing quite as fast: the number of resources available to develop all of those Internet-enabled solutions and services that will make cities, factories, work-sites, vehicles and even the clothes and accessories you wear smarter.

Many technology choices are required to build an IoT solution yet drives another obstacle for enterprise developers – assessing multiple suppliers. In fact, one of the biggest challenges today is supplier diversity and offer complexity. A recent survey from ABI Research found that 30% of end users believed that one of the key inhibitors of IoT solutions was that there was a lack of suppliers with knowledge of vendors and partners serving the full IoT value chain. IoT Marketplaces address this concern by making it faster and easier for customers to create and deploy connected solutions. So the natural question becomes: Is there a fast, convenient way to find the partners, components and application toolsets to efficiently build, update and manage an IoT solution?

The way we develop IoT solutions needs to change

While these trends and numbers might be startling at first, they can be addressed simply by changing the way we develop IoT solutions. Building an IoT solution is a complex process that involves many different components such as cloud technologies, embedded systems, services, connectivity networks, products, and more. Each requires its own set of capabilities and expertise.

Overlooking the complexity, many companies still choose to start from scratch and do it all in house, and this ends up exhausting available resources before they are able to create measurable results.

In order for companies to create value from and take advantage of the IoT and still create a positive ROI, we will need to accelerate the development process, make it easier to manage, and establish accessible ways for companies to cooperate and enable them to share resources.

Building IoT Solutions Requires a Platform Approach

While IoT deployment varies by industry, one common theme remains – use a platform to simplify the process. This offers a suite of components that enable:

  • Deployment of applications that monitor, manage, and control connected devices
  • Remote data collection from connected devices
  • Independent and secure connectivity between devices
  • Device/sensor management
  • Integration with 3rd party systems

Being able to develop and deploy IoT solutions faster is a tremendous increase in efficiency. However, there are still other pieces necessary in order to create IoT solutions that meet the requirements of all those different industries, companies, and people.

So, how are we going to fill in those pieces, while making it as easy as possible for users to build IoT solutions? More about that in my next installment.

Until then you can leverage the extensive ecosystem in the ThingWorx Marketplace. Find certified and trained Partners who can help you get your IoT solution delivered quickly and reliably.