The following is a guest post by Mike Tannenbaum, Senior Director of Strategic Marketing at CloudMine.
Technology is getting smarter, and so are the people responsible for implementing the solutions that connect the Internet of Things (IoT). Sensors, wearables, and a flurry of new smart devices are now able to talk to each other through the internet, share information, and learn from their surroundings. While these technologies are being adopted in many ways, this is just the beginning.
Organizations are rapidly innovating and interacting with partners, consumers, and employees, leading to better experiences for end users, regardless of what devices they’re using. This could be a doctor-patient communication tool, a Bluetooth-enabled medical device with smart notifications, or connected industrial appliances that can be operated by applications running on smart devices. The possibilities are endless.
Regardless of the scenario, the technology underlying each situation is strikingly similar: servers, sensors, data stores, algorithms, and complex code. While most organizations are paralyzed by the complexities associated with developing these experiences, your organization can actually begin implementing these concepts almost immediately with the right tools, including Platform as a Service (PaaS) and MBaaS (Mobile Backend as a Service).
Innovation with connected technology requires implementing mobile-focused, data-informed, cloud-powered applications. Software and networked systems are complex and difficult to properly develop, yet thanks to a slew of modern capabilities, the barrier to entry has been lowered significantly. This makes it dramatically easier for everyone from the smallest company to the Fortune 500 on the market to implement.
If you’re exploring new ways to embrace connected technologies, decisions must be made on how to invest resources to address the challenges of developing for the IoT. Here are three key things that should be invested in:
Security — First, security should be at the heart of everything developed as more devices online means more vulnerabilities and exploits available for malicious hackers. Some of the leading problems with IoT as it stands today are lack of standards and lack of care for building secure systems. Make sure you put the right measures in place to protect your users, your corporation, and everyone’s data.
Scaling — More devices online means more nodes generating data, which means more complex issues when scaling the number of transactions required for real-time data capture and analysis. With sensors pumping out data multiple times per second, these little bits and bytes add up to be massive quantities of relevant data (often petabytes and exabytes, with zettabytes being the norm just around the corner), all of which is required for IoT systems to truly be intelligent.
Integrations — Integrating data generated from where it is being generated (sensors, wearables, devices, etc) to where it is actionable (big data intelligence systems) is a massive hurdle for many IoT initiatives. Moving data from the edge back to predictive intelligence and analytical systems in a secure manner is a challenge eating up lots of developer time, yet it is essential for every IoT system to function. These “action engines” are the meat of every IoT system as they’re providing the intelligence layer that makes devices smart. Make sure you properly tunnel from edge nodes to action engines by keeping latency low, encrypting the data in transit, and properly setting up real-time sync mechanisms.
IT teams now need to be prepared to handle these situations, whether it’s an internal R&D project being pushed to production for the first time or a core business technology that suddenly gains mass adoption. Yet many organizations lack the internal resources and knowledge to support the successful deployment and growth of these initiatives. As technology leaders still struggle to figure out their unified development strategies, immediately deployable solutions now exist that reduce complexities, reduce friction, and make application innovation much easier to accomplish.
Gone are the days of prototyping on one platform and then rewriting code to fit another. And no longer do technologists need to worry about adding more hardware, storage, and code to support unexpected (but exciting) growth. Thanks to software such as PaaS and MBaaS, these technologies are easily implemented and act as innovation platforms across entire organizations.
By empowering Proof of Concept application development and enabling seamless migrations to production, organizations are able to go from idea to execution to growth mode in significantly less time, thus increasing the chances of successful innovations. Similarly, by leveraging technology to automate scaling and resource allocation, development teams can focus on building key pieces of IoT systems, including analytical and intelligence systems.
These toolsets are enabling the largest enterprises to innovate rapidly and securely, without needing to add significant IT resources. Companies with backlogs of application requests are now deploying new services with increased frequency. Instead of ignoring requests due to lack of capabilities, IT departments and business leaders are now able to say, “Yes, we can do that.”
If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at our whitepaper, The Complete Guide to MBaaS, to learn how your organization can gain an immediate foundation for innovation.