An Upcoming Revolution
The next decade is poised to include some of the most rapid technological advancements in history. A wide array of technologies is coming together to create a globally-connected network of electronics referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT), technology that is predicted to generate more than $123 billion annually by 2021.
The IoT promises to make things like smart homes, self-driving cars, and an efficient public transportation system possible. It will also allow businesses to collect valuable data that can increase sales and help them strategize for the future. Companies are already scrambling to develop IoT-connected tech, and some of these businesses are using IT staff augmentation to accomplish this difficult task.
These IT staffing services enable businesses to rapidly pursue new development projects without sacrificing long-term flexibility. By providing experienced software engineers on-cue, these firms allow businesses to focus on their customer’s needs without becoming bogged down in the details.
The Internet of Things is the Near Future
The IoT is a broad term that refers to any electronic device that can potentially be connected to the internet. The rise of ultra-fast WiFi and the ongoing release of 5G wireless technologies allows small, unremarkable electronic devices to be connected to the internet for the first time.
Now, everyday, innocuous electronics like headphones and glasses can be hooked up to the internet. In the near future, your average person will be able to travel abroad without needed to learn a new language. Internet-enabled hearing devices will soon be able to translate any widely-used language in real-time–making the idea of a truly globally-connected world a reality.
Smart home products are already starting to become mainstream. Products like Amazon Echo are ubiquitous and Google Nest is already helping homeowners maximize their air conditioner and heating efficiency from their smartphones.
The IoT will transform the way businesses and governments operate as well. The Chinese retail giant Alibaba has partnered with the city of Hangzhou to improve transportation efficiency. The company uses internet-connected cameras to monitor accidents and real-time traffic flows. The recently released technology has already improved traffic efficiency and reduced the number of accidents in the city.
Research predicts that more than 26 billion electronic devices will be connected to the IoT by 2020. Consumers are expected to quickly embrace this new technology and to integrate it into their daily lives. However, the same research states that “The biggest barrier to the IoT is that most enterprises do not know what to do with the technology.”
One of the ways that companies are addressing this challenge is by using IT staff augmentation to supplement their permanent development teams and rapidly scale their capabilities. These staffing partners help companies strategize their IoT technology development and build a professional, multidisciplinary software engineering group.
Staff Augmentation and the Internet of Things
Help Companies Strategize for the IoT
As mentioned above, creating a smart development strategy is one of the biggest challenges for companies interested in the IoT. Leaders know that billions of devices will be connected to the internet in the next several years. But, how do they prepare their company to capitalize on this new technology and generate profits?
One of the ways that businesses are increasing profits through the IoT is by investing in data analytics–with 48& of companies telling Forbes that IoT spending will be a major priority in 2019.
Retail companies are using custom software to track consumer behavior and collect valuable data. This information allows businesses to tailor the online shopping experience to individual customers–increasing sales and reducing traditional marketing costs.
On the other hand, industrial manufacturers use the same approach to predict maintenance problems and other issues that may shut down production and reduce revenue.
Still, other companies are using IoT technologies to create original products. Tesla, among other car companies, is testing self-driving cars. These smart cars will soon be capable of navigating highways and city roads without human supervision–Tesla’s Elon Musk claims that this will happen as soon as the end of 2019. They are able to do so because of their intelligent computer systems, which create a mini-map of their environment using an assortment of IoT-connected sensors and cameras.
One thing is for sure: IoT technologies will have a major impact. Even companies who are not interested in developing new products must take notice–their corporate rivals will surely be using IoT-enabled analytics to gain a competitive edge.
Working with an experienced IT staffing service helps companies plan ahead. Their experienced project managers and business development specialists ensure that companies invest in the right technology and avoid common pitfalls.
Access the Best Software Development Talent
One of the most difficult challenges faced by American tech executives interested in creating products for the IoT is sourcing and hiring experienced software engineers. These in-demand professionals currently have a historically low unemployment rate of just 1.6%. This means that companies are competing for the same candidates–leading to unfilled jobs and frustration across organizations as businesses struggle to develop IoT-enabled tech.
In addition, the traditional hiring process itself is ill-suited to this employment market. It can take more than a month and a half to find a qualified candidate in the tech industry, with the time-to-hire metric increasing as the labor market continues to tighten. This time-consuming hiring process can lead to project delays and cost overruns as crucial roles go unfilled and the entire development cycle grinds to a halt.
Many businesses have turned to staff augmentation companies to expand their candidate search and avoid these problems during IoT development. Because these companies are tasked with finding remote employees they can source experienced developers outside of the United States. This allows American businesses to avoid the talent shortage in the country.
In addition, these IT staffing services maintain an extensive list of experienced developers. They can place the right candidate in hard-to-fill positions on-cue, enabling the development cycle to continue without a hitch.
Ensures Long-term Staff Flexibility
One of the reasons that IT staff augmentation and managed services have become so popular is because of the high degree of flexibility they offer executives focused on building IoT-connected devices.
Traditional software development cycles began with an extensive hiring process. This type of hiring approach enabled businesses to develop custom software with ease. However, these companies often found themselves saddled with unnecessary employees–and salaries–once development was complete and their engineering team’s skills were no longer needed.
Many companies develop IoT products by maintaining a core software engineering staff while keeping room in their budget to hire specialists when needed. Experts like software security experts, quality assurance manual testers, and software developer engineers in test are only needed during select parts of the development cycle. Hiring these experts as permanent staff members is unnecessary and a waste of valuable resources.
IT staff augmentation provides management with this much needed long-term flexibility. By supplementing their in-house team with ultra-specialized engineers as-needed, companies can maintain a lean permanent staff. This saves money and allows businesses to quickly reorganize their essential employees for the next IoT development project.
IoT Will Change our Way of Living
The IoT promises to be one of the most important technological advancements in recent memories. Consumers will soon be able to purchase self-driving cars that will change the way they travel.
They’ll also be able to outfit their homes with the type of technology that makes their lives easier and more comfortable. Consumers of the future will own refrigerators that automatically place an order for fresh groceries, voice-activated assistants that can accomplish tasks, and at-home medical stations that can diagnose an illness in seconds.
Businesses of all sizes will benefit from the IoT as well. Companies will use these new capabilities to create new products like self-driving cars, wearable healthcare and fitness devices, and voice assistance for consumers. At the same time, businesses will improve efficiency and increase profits through data analytics.
IT staffing services can help businesses integrate this new technology with confidence. Their leaders can help create a long-term strategy and brainstorm new products. They’ll also supplement internal development teams with the type of specialized engineers necessary to produce the IoT-connected devices of the future.