IoT App Development Boiled Down to 6 Steps

by | Jan 15, 2020

The Internet of Things or IoT has revolutionized the meaning of the (slightly overused) phrase: “there’s an app for that.”

  IoT has radically multiplied the potential for a mobile app to influence a person’s day-to-day lifestyle. You can use your smart device to shop without the checkout line or feed your cat while traveling across the country, all thanks to the power of IoT mobile applications. However, IoT project development is complex, with many interconnected technological components that must work together in harmony to realize the intended benefit.

  Parsed specializes in IoT app development and wrote the key steps needed to successfully develop an app as part of an IoT development project.


Here are the 6 steps for successful IoT App Development from Parsed:


Step 1: IoT Project Discussion

When it comes to product development, communication is key. A detailed discussion with the IoT project manager will ensure a thorough understanding of the IoT product, giving the app development team the information they need to understand user interaction with the product and to maintain the interface of the end customer.

According to an International Data Corporation (IDC) study, it was found that by 2025, there will be more than 41.6 billion IoT devices generating 79.4 ZettaBytes(ZB) data. With this expansion of technology, the study predicts that more IoT projects are estimated to fail than succeed. Thus it is essential to have healthy business communication right from the first stage of IoT product development to clearly understand the use case, requirements, and the communication mechanism between various components as part of the IoT solution being built.


Step 2: IoT App Development Strategy

Developing a customized IoT application or solution involves a lot of challenges like cross-platform compatibility and connectivity, Data Security and privacy, data collection and processing. However, most of the above challenges could be ruled out by choosing the right IoT platform for development and deployment.

Let's now look into the prominent IoT platforms available in the IoT market.
  • Google Cloud IoT Platform, Android Points
  • IBM Watson IoT Platform
  • ThingWorx 8 IoT Platform
  • AWS IoT Platform
  • Cisco IoT Cloud Connect
  • Azure IoT Suite
  • Oracle IoT
  • Salesforce IoT Cloud
  • Thingspeak IoT Platform
  • Kaa IoT Platform
These IoT platforms provide a unified platform to access information across devices without inconsistency and other common issues. Choosing the right IoT platform is the foremost strategy in IoT app development.

After the information is sourced from the IoT project manager, the app development team will regroup to build a strong strategy: that includes a timeline, budget, project scope for hardware & software, etc. Parsed emphasizes the importance of making these strategies fulfillable while staying on the schedule and within the budget limitations.


Step 3: IoT App Design and Prototype

IoT product prototyping is a crucial part of the entire IoT development process because only with the help of the functional prototype, the various parameters of the IoT product's business case can be evaluated and validated.

Primarily, IoT product prototype consists of :
  • The User Interface and Frontend Framework
  • Backend Software and the Logic of Connectivity
  • Proposed Hardware to be used for the IoT product
  • Network infrastructure and Cloud interface Connectivity
App design requirements will vary by the project. Some projects require relatively more effort in terms of design aspects. Following the design process, a visual mock-up of the app, the “Prototype” will be made to aid in design discussion with the project manager and demonstrate a clear vision for the final app.

This phase evaluates and verifies whether the proposed IoT product would duly satisfy the requirements of business and IoT project implementation.


Step 4: IoT App Development

According to Machina Research, traditionally IoT development was made while keeping cost-saving on their mind. But, these days, IoT product and application development are focused on generating higher revenue while increasing competitive differentiation and promoting the sustainability of the business.

It is forecasted that there would be a 3 trillion US dollar revenue opportunity for the businesses that adopt IoT by 2025 which is up by USD 750 billion from 2015. Parsed recommends that you should hire a mobile app developer who has exceptional technical ability in solving problems with data structures and algorithms, strong communication skills combined with programming ability, transparency and error handling.

It is predicted that, provided that there are sufficient facilities and expertise in this field, both the mobile and web-based IoT applications would be implemented in various fields like automobiles, agriculture, healthcare and industrial manufacturing by providing them the necessary smart technologies in the future.

Step 5: IoT App Testing

An app development team needs to put its IoT app through a rigorous testing process. A qualified IoT app developer should be committed to this process to ensure customer satisfaction.

The various process in IoT application testing involves :
  • Usability Testing
  • Reliability Testing
  • Data Integrity Testing
  • Security Testing
  • Performance Testing
Whereas testing the IoT hardware devices includes verifying the effectiveness of the device in regards to functional parameters, compatibility of the services, security, networks, processors, operating systems, platforms, and device standards.

The best effective way to perform IoT app testing is to use gray box testing in an automated environment with a real-time operating system.


Step 6: IoT App Delivery

The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Once the app survives the testing in step 5 — it’s ready to go to the market and be pushed to the app store.

This is the final stage of IoT application development that helps the end product to reach the market. After the various stages of design, development and testing this product release phase is a significant step in ensuring the product's viability in the market and collecting various user data points to improve the existing system with data analysis and bug fixes.  

Parsed concludes with a reminder that their set of steps should not be taken merely as a checklist — but rather a model from which an app development team can further understand their roles in a complex IoT project, ensuring its success.  

Read the full article from Parsed for further detail on these 6 steps, and for more resources on IoT app development.
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