Though relatively new, the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving advances in a wide variety of industries, including agriculture, retail, manufacturing, logistics, energy, healthcare, and urban planning. The following video demonstrates how IBM IoT technology is used in solutions within manufacturing:
The IoT is a collection of technologies, including the devices themselves, embedded sensors that send and receive information, internet service, and software. The software component is critical for operating IoT devices and processing and analyzing the data transmitted by the sensors. If your company is using the IoT, you need to ensure the quality of this critical component.
Here we explore the importance of the IoT, the apps needed to support it, and how software developers help companies get the most from their IoT technology.
The Importance of the IoT
Business Insider projects that there will be more than 64 billion IoT devices by 2026, up from about 10 billion in 2018. This growth has implications for convenience, such as being able to get smartphone notifications on a watch, but also for such structural matters as public safety, healthcare, food security, and energy distribution.
For example, smart city technology tracks and analyzes data from various sources to decrease crime. These sources include smart sensors and surveillance cameras that send information to a centralized data repository. By analyzing this data, police and other agencies can make decisions about which areas might need additional monitoring.
Healthcare professionals also make use of sensors, wearable devices, health monitors, and other devices to provide more effective, efficient care to patients.
IoT devices can also be used in agriculture to monitor the soil for moisture and nutrient levels to provide detailed information that can help farmers optimize water and fertilizer use, ensure the healthiest possible crops, and increase food production.
The technology is also being deployed by energy providers to detect outages so they can respond to them more effectively and get power back online more quickly. Additionally, IoT devices are deployed on power distribution equipment to detect components that need repair or replacement.
Custom IoT App Development
With these important matters at stake, companies and organizations must be sure to shore up their IoT operations with robust software and apps. For example, a farmer in the field can get real-time information or run an instant analysis of current crop configurations using an app connected to soil-based IoT devices.
When you hire a custom software developer to create an IoT app, you can expect services that adapt seamlessly to your project requirements and business needs. IoT apps should improve human relationships with devices using smooth communication tools and easy-to-use interfaces.
Look for a development company that can deliver IoT apps for a wide wide range of devices and platforms. Custom apps should be fully secure and ready to transmit data within your infrastructure efficiently, so your operations are always working at full capacity. Also make sure your developer’s process includes thorough information gathering so your app works perfectly for your intended purpose, including operation, data entry, or analysis.
The Benefits of Being Agile
An agile app development process ensures maximum client satisfaction. We should know because BairesDev uses it for all its projects. This approach enables us to be flexible enough to respond to change, no matter how fast it happens. The impetus for change may come from new client desires for capabilities or functionality, or from input involving usability requirements. Either way, incorporating changes is built into the development process.
The agile approach entails five critical principles: communication, collaboration, self-organization, focus on metrics, and cross-functionality:
- Communication between team members — and between team leaders and stakeholders — is key. Savvy developers take the time to plan in advance how to communicate about goals and solutions for maximum efficiency.
- High-quality developers also lean heavily on collaboration between teams or between a team and other business partners. All participants should realize that it’s the entire team solving problems, not individuals.
- An agile team must be self-organizing to achieve great things. Each team member must be capable of determining their next tasks, and teams must be able to organize meetings between themselves or with external collaborators or stakeholders.
- A team that is metrics-driven is a team that is results-driven. Analytic tools can help to measure our success at all stages of a project, from planning to maintenance. A critical step in the process is sharing an analysis of the team and each member to provide insights about the team’s overall performance.
- Cross-functional teams are those that include members from different areas within a company. Team members have both overlapping and complementary skill sets to provide a wide range of functionality. Within these teams, members come to respect each other’s contributions and see progress as holistic rather than siloed.
The BairesDev App Development Process
For our developers, the first phase of the process is planning, in which managers, stakeholders, and developers meet to determine what problem is being addressed, how the software will solve it, and how the development process will proceed.
In the design phase, the bulk of the coding is completed. We focus on creating a basic prototype early in the process so the software can be rigorously tested by a small number of users before too many resources have been invested in the development. This continuous feedback cycle ensures that any issues are identified early and that the software truly addresses the client’s challenge.
We complete the process with testing, deploying, and maintenance. The software undergoes thorough assessments from manual testers, software developer engineers, and a small number of users. Only once this phase is completed and the product is deemed free of bugs is it released to a larger audience. Then, a select group of developers is responsible for maintaining the software, releasing updates, and responding to new end-user reports.
The Evolution of IoT Apps
The IoT is an emerging collection of technologies that is sure to advance quickly in the coming years. A critical part of that evolution will be the software that enables users to operate the hardware and sensors and run analyses on the data it receives.
In other words, the software is like a bridge between the hardware and the analytics, so it plays a critical role. An agile development process contributes to seamless client experience, dependable support, and quality results.