What a software development company should know about the Internet of Things

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Nowadays, the IoT plays an important role in software development. That is why for a software development company, it is necessary to know that the connected devices and computers is really all about.

Businesses all over the world, whether big or small, a start-up or has been around for years now seek the invaluable services of software developers and software development providers. With the great demand for software development, many service providers now provide highly effective and affordable services to stay on the competitive edge. Investor awareness of the internet of things concept and the IoT itself has increased with the rising popularity and demand of wearables as well as other connected devices. The organizations behind these items are interesting, but it’s not wise to ignore the companies that provide services, which make it all possible.



INTERNET OF THINGS IS TRULY ALL ABOUT SOFTWARE
The number of devices connected to the internet is growing at remarkable speed and investors are jumping on board. A lot of the buzz is regarding the hardware as well as the smart devices themselves, like light bulbs, watches, thermostats. However, as the IoT expands, the longer-term opportunity is in the software and services, which run the devices. The number of internet of things products will more than triple in the next few years. The thought of billions of new devices going online in the coming years has boosted the interest in most of the companies that sell the products to consumers.

THE INTERNET OF THINGS ENVIRONMENT IS LITTERED WITH STARTUPS
The internet of things environment is littered with startups. The challenge for any organization in the IoT market is to define the problem that it could solve and how much of the overall problem it could resolve reasonably. Although it may be necessary for one vendor to offer and service an end to end solution, the vendor supplying it often could not develop all the components themselves. Most solutions require an ecosystem of partners. It would be good for an organization to provide a solution, which ranges from wireless connected sensors to complex event handling.

Internet of things solutions provide a lot of challenges to software development, with connectivity affecting the numerous layers of software stack. The best approach ideally results in software that drives the solutions for the future, keeping in mind the changing needs of the users, while delivering on the benefits and promise of connectivity.

HOW A SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PROVIDER MAKE FULL USE OF IOT

TEAM COLLABORATORS
A process, which leverages a team of collaborators places speed and structure around developing software for the internet of things solutions. Testing and putting together of critical feedback is what will make the development of a product a success. The traditional linear development method, or waterfall often could fall short in this area. The formal process as well as change controls used with the waterfall methodology fail to meet the reality of fast changing user requirements. The drawback of waterfall tasks lie in the lack ongoing feedback from customers. Cross-platform, iterative software collaboration is more advantageous because of its direct connection and flexibility to end users. An iterative approach is driven by micro-goal, with an easy process in place to adjust to the evolving requirements. This boosts the team’s ability to efficient and accurately manage expenses. Furthermore, it provides the fastest route to market.



THE NUMBER OF NEW CONNECTED DEVICES WILL LEVEL OUT
At some point, the amount of new connected devices would begin to level out. This is played out again and again in technology, from the personal computer to the smart phone, to a tablet. Just like in the past, when sales of hardware is slow, the software running the machine becomes the vital focus. Two obvious places for investors to look for in service providers will be software-as-a-service juggernauts Salesfroce.com and Oracle. Both provide software for enterprises and businesses. There are also suppliers of hardware and designers selling chipsets and devices that connect devices to the web. Aside from earning an income from the sale of chipsets, most of the companies have developed or developing platforms to make the developers’ lives easier. Most of these platforms get sold as software as a service, giving a stable source of income long after the devices themselves have been sold.

SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES
For a software development company to meet demands, avoid pitfalls and gain success in the growing internet of things marketplace, they should adopt four important practices.
1. Review. Proper review of code and repetitive testing should be a priority. Manufacturers should communicate the message to engineering teams and call for more stringent software quality measures. The extreme complexity of IoT apps leaves software prone to quality failure and security lapses. A single bad transaction between a sensor, an app and hardware could cause a system to completely fail, which organizations could not afford.

2. Assessment. Continuous deployment in in a connected world is business as usual. Updates happen non-stop and often are pushed several times a day. The burden of QA on the software interacting with internet of things devices is bigger than ever. If software is not monitored continuously and code evaluated, failure is guaranteed.

3. Responsibility. Management should be responsible for quality assurance. A manufacturer that do not have an analytics set to track software risk, be it security, reliability or performance is negligent in its responsibility to the clientele as well as to the other stakeholders. Management should lead by example and communicate a direct link between software security and quality. It is also in their best interest because vulnerabilities in security due to poor system architectural decisions or coding could be some of the most costly to correct.

4. Advocacy. Besides analytics and measurement, a cultural shift to include education has to happen. Management and developers collectively should spread the word about standards. Significant strides were made in making initiatives for IT departments and manufacturers to measure the quality of their software consistently.



The internet of things is definitely a game changer that require software developers to reduce risks in the software they engineers. The first line of defense would be complying with industry standards.

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