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How to Create a Successful IoT Application?

From cellphones to smart home devices, you must have come across IoT devices hundreds of times by now; apparently, it is everywhere nowadays, but let’s start from the basics, what exactly is IoT, or rather The Internet of Things? 

IoT refers to the network of billions of physical devices - “things” around the globe that are connected to the internet and therefore constantly sharing data. Thanks to the fast technological development, now it’s possible to connect almost anything to the web, from a small speaker to a rocket, and turn it into a part of the IoT. 

The IoT market is ever-increasing as nowadays there are already more devices connected than people in the world, making IoT devices a fundamental part of our daily life. According to ZDNet, tech statistics predict that in total, there will be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices by 2025, or "things." Consumer IoT spending was expected to hit $108 billion, making it the second-largest industry segment: smart homes, personal wellness, and connected vehicle infotainment will see much of the spending. Plus, the overall enterprise Internet of Things (IoT) spending grew 12.1% in 2020 to $128.9 billion, indicating that IoT remains a high-growth market with opportunities across the entire technology stack.

Why is IoT so important?

Over the past few years, IoT has become one of the most critical technologies of the century. Connecting all these different objects to the web adds a level of digital intelligence to devices that would be otherwise “dumb,” enabling them to communicate real-time data without the need of human beings. In other words, in this hyperconnected world where we can connect everyday objects to the internet, we can achieve seamless communication between people, processes, and things. The Internet of Things is making the world around us smarter and more responsive, merging the digital and physical universes and making them cooperate.

In this blog, we will walk you through some insights for you to start your newest IoT application development and will give you some helpful tips to assure you of a successful final product.

IoT system structure

If you are already planning to start your next IoT app development project, there are 4 common components to most IoT devices you should be aware of. It is important for you to keep in mind all 4, so you can have a clearer picture of all the necessary elements of your app development project before you start working on it.

Hardware

This refers to all physical devices that will help you connect to the internet; sensors, chips, measuring appliances, etc. Selecting hardware is a crucial stage for the IoT-based system because it should comply with the required performance, and be compatible with the operating applications.

Software

These are both embedded and end-user applications. The first is developed and used for IoT devices to function properly, therefore is task-specific and requires an almost non-user interface. End-user applications are developed for the users to interact with the system and can be web, mobile or cross-platform.

Cloud

Without the cloud, it would be hard to manage the flow, storage, and processing of the enormous amount of data that IoT-enabled devices produce minute by minute worldwide. 

Network

The IoT network helps to link all devices within the system. The connectivity methods vary and can be MQTT, HTTP, LPWAN, LAN, wireless, satellite, WiFi, or Bluetooth.

IoT Development process

Now, like any other technology, IoT has a clear development process from design to support, and it is crucial for you to familiarize with it before embarking yourself on the IoT applications journey. We summarize the process in 6 steps simple steps for you to succeed in your project:  

Design

The best IoT apps have a great back-end as well as an excellent front-end. Remember, the design of IoT software should be created always with the end-user in mind, so you need to find a solid partner with the right tools and expertise to help you create an intuitive and engaging user experience while bringing your IoT ideas to life.

Prototyping

Application prototyping is a simulation of your final mobile product that allows you to answer specific questions and/or check your IoT app’s UI design and attractiveness to users before fundraising or making an investment into the actual product research and development. However, in many cases, prototyping a robust solution may cost you a lot of money so we recommend you look for a partner that can help you tackle this step and save you money.

Development

Product development is the process required to bring your IoT app from just a mere concept to reaching the market. This is a crucial process to ensure value for your potential customers, as well as confirm there is enough demand for your IoT application and that it is of the highest possible quality before your take it to market. 

Keep in mind that staying on top of any industry requires innovation and evolution, so we advise you to partner with someone that can offer you full-cycle development, together with strategic consulting and project management.

Testing

Now, you cannot launch your IoT without being sure it is perfect. If you want people to actually download and use your application, you have to get it as close to being perfect as possible. You should also test it for security by trying out different penetration techniques. All of that can be done by a professional team of QA experts who would run through your app times and times over checking it for every possible flaw. Be sure to partner with an expert that runs both manual and automated tests and checks every component of your software to eliminate possible issues.

Maintenance and support

Keeping your IoT software, networks, and apps running smoothly is as important as designing and developing them. You cannot just code and say goodbyes to it. For this final stage of your IoT app development, we strongly recommend getting a true partner that keeps on supporting your application throughout its lifecycle, adds new features, and expands its functionality for years to come. IoT is a dynamic domain, which means that you cannot afford to lose that momentum.

IoT app development tips

Remember, if you plan to develop IoT apps, you should know that it involves much more than developing a customer-facing mobile application; you need to take into account behind-the-scenes but at the same time robust back-end systems. Here are some tips for you to succeed in creating solid and functional IoT apps from the get-go.

#1 Secure your IoT Devices

When you develop IoT applications, it’s rarely a single mobile application to control hardware, but rather a mini-ecosystem comprising lots of different elements. That’s why your IoT app must include a multi-layered approach to security from start to end. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Data encryption: Ensure that all sensitive information is securely encrypted and use well-recommended encryption frameworks.
  • Access management: Every platform module and the user should have access to the required minimum of data, while you limit access to device debug capabilities only to approved staff, and keep a log of all access instances.
  • User authentication: Require all users to reauthenticate before providing access to personally identifiable information and enable two-factor authentication.
  • Safe protocols: Instill a strong password policy by disallowing weak passwords and avoiding duplicate passwords across smart devices.
  • Protected networks: Use the secure HTTPS connection to transfer data between devices and applications.
  • Security standards: Verify that your security measures comply with such standards as ISO27001, SOC2 Type 2, and IEC 62304 (if it’s a healthcare-related IoT app)

#2 Build an IoT App With Scalability in Mind

All the layers of your IoT system should be scalable as it will need to manage increasing amounts of data and many different devices and processes. Think of solutions that can be easily modified and scaled up whenever you needed to be. For this, you can work with a partner that can modify and update your existing solutions to help you meet new business challenges, so you are always ready to tackle them.

#3 Pick the Right Hardware Vendor

IoT Hardware includes a wide range of physical devices such as devices that manage key tasks and functions such as system activation, security, action specifications, communication, and detection of support-specific goals and actions. Some vendors that offer software for their devices can miss potential software vulnerabilities. For your IoT app, make sure to choose reliable hardware or run it by specialists.

#4 Use a Reliable IoT Platform

There are plenty of end-to-end IoT platforms to create IoT apps. Be careful to choose a reliable one based on its capabilities, communication protocol, and products it offers. Browse through the most popular IoT cloud-based platforms and evaluate their pros and cons before making a final decision.

The presence of IoT is increasing at an impressive speed and we can deny that IoT has become an integral part of our lives. Therefore, there is no better time to seize the opportunity and get all the necessary insights on how to build an IoT platform to enter the market of IoT apps. However, as stated in this blog, building an IoT solution is not a piece of cake; it requires a fundamental approach, deep knowledge of hardware and software technologies, and a solid development strategy.

Do you still have questions on how to develop IoT applications? We can help. At Intersog we offer enterprise IoT solutions tailor-made for your business. Our team of IoT experts will deliver your project in time, ensuring its completion within your budget and the scope of work.

 

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