So you’ve got an idea for a cutting-edge internet of things app that will revolutionize your company’s product line?
But what happens when your idea displays gaps in the development process? More importantly, where do you start?
More and more people are finding themselves drawn to the lure of the IoT. And why shouldn’t they? After all, the IoT saves time and enables awesome functionality for users – all of which make our lives easier. It’s also a great way to add innovation to products, generate more revenue and increase your competitive edge. The IoT truly stands to revolutionize sales, service and marketing practices.
Building an awesome IoT app relies on so many things. There’s the obvious challenges of coming up with a great idea and having a team in place who can execute on that vision. But considering the scope of an Internet of Things solution, there’s a lot of challenges behind the scenes that have prevented the IoT from exploding even more and enterprise companies capitalizing on great ideas. Keep these key challenges for building the Internet of Things in mind when considering your IoT solution.
1. Power source
In order for circuits and sensors to collect code from a device, there needs to be some source of power. For some devices, it isn’t difficult to engineer how the device will be powered. It might be battery powered, solar powered or simply hard wired into electrical lines. Keeping costs down in developing a power source, however, can be a bigger issue. Union Pacific Railroad, for example, has battled that in creating an IoT solution for monitoring thousands of switches along train tracks in rural areas.
2. Data collection
Deciding what to collect, where and how many data collection points there are, and how to measure that data, are all challenges that companies looking to implement IoT have battled. Not to mention, the network of “who” can provide data has expanded. Partners, suppliers and distributors have data that can be collected and all of that needs organized and turned into something meaningful.
3. Engineering for embedded Code
IoT requires clear and concise data transfer. The device will need to have components such as integrated circuits and sensors with embedded code. The final combined solution requires both machine code and software code so the app can run smoothly. This allows the device to send and receive data. The flexibility in the code, and the ability to connect to the code, is key to ensuring a stable connection and reliable data in your solution.
4. Network connectivity
While network connectivity has improved throughout metropolitan areas, it’s still a significant challenge in rural areas. About 15 percent of the U.S. population resides in rural counties, which spread across 72 percent of the nation’s land area (Yahoo! News). Equipment and devices with IoT capabilities in these rural areas rely on network connectivity to provide critical data to applications and end users. However, unless it’s a private network, businesses don’t have control over such a critical piece of the IoT puzzle.
5. Integration and process change
An Internet of Things solution brings new and better data to the people who need it to make decisions that will impact processes, functionality and business goals. It can involve complex integrations with multiple types of systems and platforms. Those integrations typically impact more than one area of the business. That’s why building process improvement into an IoT solution can be a challenging but necessary step of building the Internet of Things.
6. Device security
Not surprisingly, a security related topic made our list. But the security challenge with an IoT solution extends beyond the typical data center security measures to the actual device itself. Think about who will come into contact with the device and how. Also think about how it will be physically secured from weather elements, unauthorized persons making changes to the device or even authorized persons making unauthorized changes.