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IDC predicts that the spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) will surpass USD 1.2 trillion in 2022 worldwide.From manufacturing to retail, smart homes, and even healthcare, the IoT ecosystem is rapidly expanding its presence. With billions of devices getting connected to the Internet every year, it is about time that businesses evaluate the real end-to-end benefits of IoT in their operational models.However, it is not just the smart devices or machinery that contribute to the success of an IoT initiative. In fact, data from devices only form one part of the success formula. Collecting data from devices and your physical infrastructure alone holds very less significance. To derive real benefits, the key area of focus is the IoT software or platform that a business leverages to manage its data streams.Digital applications that can harvest the data from physical devices and compute valuable insights will be the key competitive advantage that businesses can rely on in tough markets. When we talk about IoT software, it encompases both in-house software that enterprises build for their needs as well as 3rd party software that they leverage from external vendors.In the end, it is the IoT software that enables the business to leverage the capabilities of IoT infrastructure to realize different real-world use cases. On this note, let us explore some of the top tips to derive real value from IoT software:

Build for scalability

For most businesses, IoT may start as an experimental initiative. But over time, as the business expands, the horizon of coverage for IoT integration also increases. This will directly correspond to increased data flow, more complex operational models being deployed, and newer and more powerful analytical and intelligent capabilities being expected from the IoT ecosystem.
The onus falls on the IoT software to accommodate the growth prospects of the business in every dimension. From having to handle a larger data volume to realizing objectives through supporting a larger number of business systems, there will be a huge demand for scalability.
Hence, it is important to have your business’ IoT software built with scalability as a central focus area. Leveraging cloud-based development approaches, opting for microservices or micro-front-end architecture, etc. are some of the ways to build applications with risk-free scalability. Leveraging a cloud-based approach also offers the freedom of on-demand availability and cost-effectiveness.

Secure your experiences

The progressive growth or business expansion mentioned earlier also implies that more consumer devices will get connected to your IoT ecosystem over time. More critical customer engagement channels will open due to this connectivity in sectors like healthcare and utilities. There will be a sizable amount of confidential or personal data that will be transacted in your IoT software. Additionally, the internal IoT software that an enterprise may develop to handle operations like performance monitoring of machines, proactive environment configuration, etc. As business expands, more plants in different geographies will be brought under your internal IoT software and this will directly increase the number of end-points that the enterprise’s digital landscape must entertain for data and information exchange. It will be your responsibility to ensure that the data is safeguarded from fraudulent activities or unauthorized access. While building your digital applications to handle IoT data streams, it is important to inculcate security as a core development philosophy in every stage of software development. Your technical or development team needs to be made aware of hidden risks and vulnerabilities that may become lethal if left unnoticed in the IoT network once deployed.

Accommodating connectivity

Every year, we see newer and smarter consumer devices being rolled out in the market that can create new possibilities in areas like customer experience. While hardware compatibility does require a unique focus, it is equally important to ensure that the IoT software applications in your business are able to offer seamless connectivity to new devices introduced in the market. However, 3rd party devices and internal machines may follow a wide range of network communication standards and protocols. Some may leverage TCP while others may rely on Modbus, SCADA, etc. Additionally, controllers and sensors would have their own internal communication protocols and information standards in place. On this note it is important to ensure that APIs built for the IoT software can accommodate the diverse range of communication standards and streamline interoperability. To guarantee success, it is important to periodically audit your IoT software for compatibility with new market innovations.

Fostering advanced integrations

Enterprises will be able to derive more value from their IoT software, only if they are able to learn more about its behavior. This is made possible if analytics and powerful computing capabilities can be integrated into your core IoT software.

Over time, your IoT software needs to be capable of supplying the right data to the most suitable analytical tools and derive the most data-driven actionable insights. These insights would then form the basis on which organizational decisions can be framed. When we talk about analytics, it is also important to focus on adopting analytical tools and approaches that can accommodate the dynamics of the specific industry where the business operates.

Additionally, data processing models and algorithms need to constantly evolve depending on market trends and behavior. We have seen how the COVID-19 pandemic wrecked the historic forecasting and data modeling capabilities of organizations. Hence, it is important to have your analytical solutions open to accommodating dynamic trends and not just focus on historic behavior and data.

Deriving the best value from your IoT ecosystem is a continuous activity that is made possible jointly by your hardware and digital infrastructure. Selecting the right IoT software solutions or customizing off-the-shelf offerings for your unique business traits is important to achieving the true potential of your connected business. This is where our advisory and consulting services in the IoT space can help make a difference. Talk to us today to know more about maximizing your ROI from IoT initiatives by building the most tailored IoT software for your business.

Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

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