August 3, 2021

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IoE: A New Era in Hyperconnectivity, Opportunities, and Development Challenges

By Max Nirenberg, Commit USA  08.03.2021

In our hyperconnected world, it’s not only “things” that are connected but organizations, people, and other systems as well. Instead of IoT, we should be talking about IoE — the Internet of Everything — a network of connections between smart things, people, processes, and data, with real-time information flowing between them.

IoE is placing more emphasis on the results and value gained from managing many different connections, meaning it’s not just about generating troves of big data or machine-to-machine (M2M) interactions, it’s also about securing that data, respecting privacy concerns, and intelligently managing it with the various tools available. But many fail to comprehend the depth of these requirements or think it costs too much to learn what’s necessary to design a product properly —a key reason why 75% of IoT projects fail and nearly 1/3 never get past the proof of concept phase.

The fact is, though, the most common pain points with developing smart devices —such as a lack of human resources or budget or regulatory and security concerns around storing and protecting data — must all be accounted for without cutting corners during development. This is true for multinationals and startups alike, who must carefully account for security, scalability, interfaces, user experiences, and more factors.

Best Practices to Cut Costs and Boost Development Success
Developing and implementing IoT for the IoE age requires a range of specialists from UI/UX and graphic designers to product managers, software architects, front-end and back-end developers of various types, QA managers, database specialists, DevOps engineers, and more.

Additionally, crucial R&D elements like securing data must be addressed outright and continually fine-tuned. Therefore, if best practices cannot be followed in-house, organizations can benefit from trusted partners that can lend their expertise whenever needed. Once you have the right experts, improving development efficiency and the odds of success begins by:

  • Managing Cloud Costs —IoT data must be stored in a cloud, which can be costly and requires advanced planning. While public clouds are highly scalable and provide enough storage for most applications, the increased capacity and traffic needs of connected solutions translate to high cloud storage costs if elements such as data retention settings are not monitored correctly. Managing these costs requires a full review of data requirements and parameters to assess the needs of an organization, including understanding what the sources of data input will be, what volumes and velocity of info input there will be, what hours of peak activity will be, etc. These factors must constantly be monitored to implement a cloud strategy that is flexible and responsive.
  • Tackling Infosec and Privacy Concerns Early in Development — There are three basic steps in properly securing IoT developments: configuration management, authentication, and authorization and encryption. From deployment, each IoT device needs to be set up for optimum security settings. Then, ongoing configuration maintenance and updates are needed to prevent unauthorized changes and to report any change attempts. Additionally, each IoT device should require clear credentials for any access. Importantly, IoT data is in transit. This unique vulnerability means data encryption is and will become more crucial.
  • Thinking End-to-End and Long Term — Many IoT project teams focus solely on either software development or integration with communication elements. However, a full 360-degree view of a project involving hardware requires thinking outside the box. Instead of choosing a preset platform upfront and then limiting your dev team or forcing costly changes by trying to find hardware that suits your development best late in the game, IoT development requires teams that can handle all the elements needed — from software to communications to hardware — and remaining flexible throughout the process as technological needs emerge.
  • Staffing Smart with Flexible R&D — Not all experts are needed at the same intensity throughout the development process. All that’s really needed at the start is a business lead, a product lead, and a technology lead. Beyond these parties, startups can utilize multidisciplinary development services on demand. This approach, known as Flexible R&D, enables companies to tap into the best talent from around the world, but only pay for the services they need when they need them.

Develop Smart with the End Goal in Mind
Along with people, processes, and data, smart devices will be increasingly integral in our connected world. But whether you’re developing solutions for manufacturing, distributing, selling, or analyzing post-purchase behavior, it is crucial to control spending without cutting corners.

Development teams and their partners should be chiefly concerned with the original driver of IoT and other technologies — the needs of a business or user — and ultimately, how to best get quality end results. This requires considering all parties involved and looking at development from a multi-disciplinary, end-to-end, future-facing perspective. Teams that do this drastically increase their chances to lead in the IoE market for years to come.

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