In 2020 we can expect the expansion and impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) to be even more important than in 2019, especially when we look at the potential of IoT used in combination with other technologies like AI, machine learning, Big Data…Ever since the concept of interconnected devices and tools attained mass attention 4 or 5 years ago, every passing year has only seen IoT become more intricately involved in our lives, work, business and even the military. Therefore, there is no doubt that the demand for IoT skills (and IoT developers in particular) is going to remain at a very high level this year again. However, there are some mistakes that will need to be learned from, as we will develop in this article.
Critical Mistakes Must be Corrected
Taking a look at the industry from a critical point of view reveals that there is still a lot of room for improvement. Learning from past mistakes would be crucial for both the IoT sector to grow as a whole, as well as for IoT engineers to facilitate personal career growth in this segment. Going through some of those mistakes provides a clearer idea regarding the errors made, possible corrective measures, and a future plan for the growth and evolution of IoT.
Poor Identification of the Problem Area
IoT development teams with significant success to their name highlight that it is critical to have a clear vision of the problem area and they offer a simple roadmap to avoid missing this point:
- Recognition of data types which the company is going to handle initially
- Confirmation regarding the platforms and devices that the venture will cater to
- Identification of the problem which the IoT company will seek to solve for their clients
- Judging the scope of the offered services and aiming to reach comprehensiveness before venturing further
- Expanding from a singular solution to more varied ones, when the company is ready to do so
Career Mistake: Lack of Business Intelligence
It is a severe career setback for engineers working in IoT to not have the necessary business intelligence for taking up executive positions in the company, or in the segment in general.
An engineer working with the Internet of Things will have to deal with the following aspects:
- Collection of data
- Storage and analysis of the collected data
- Making changes and adjustments in accordance with their analysis
Unless an IoT engineer understands the value of the collected data in a business setting, it would be difficult for them to make their job actually productive for the organisation.
On the other hand, it is often seen that IoT developers with an MBA engineering degree enjoy a number of advantages that make them more valuable in their respective fields and even beyond it.
- They are capable of evaluating data analytics, rather than just doing the work
- The MBA engineering degree also provides them with the education & training to handle leadership roles
Keeping the future in mind, more technical business leaders in IoT will soon be necessary, as business and IT as a whole slowly merges into a singular unit for seamless interactions and adaptations. In many ways, that makes the IoT engineer more valuable than a business graduate, but it also makes an IoT engineer with a business degree significantly more efficient and prospective than one without the MBA.
Disregarding Future Problems
Disregarding future problems is a mistake that was somewhat understandable a few years ago when IoT was still in its nascency, but unfortunately, it was a continuing mistake being made by IoT developers even in 2019. As a result of that, the following issues are reported by users and the original companies themselves soon after:
- Bricked devices
- Network blocks
- Botnet issues
- Security concerns over cloud based cyber attacks and vulnerable, older, AI algorithms
These problems are commonplace in IoT today, which has managed to dent the consumer perception towards the technology itself. A host of new ventures in the last few years have either bailed on their customers with a security compromised software, or have gone bankrupt.
Unfortunate and unprofessional as the situation seems, lessons were learned by other more authentic and dedicated IoT development teams in the business.
- Scaling options were not considered, though they should have been integrated from the start
- Trying to put too many features into a device/software was found to be the main culprit
- A complex IoT infrastructure, makes it harder to maintain and update the connected devices
- Updates are essential for cybersecurity; without them being released regularly, the associated hardware becomes a compromised liability
Surprising Disregard of Consumer Oriented UI Design
It was found that a large number of IoT products are still being designed with User Interfaces that make no sense for a consumer-oriented product. It is a result of the aforementioned lack of business intelligence among IoT software developers. A number of UI designing mistakes made by IoT engineers in the consumer segment were identified as follows:
- Poor legibility
- Little to no explanation for new features
- Complicated menu systems
- No suggestions or guides in the menu
- Poor explanations regarding privacy clauses
- Unappealing visual design
In the consumer space, the UX is largely what creates a long-term reputation for an IoT brand, because people are more likely to come back for the next product from the same brand, if their User Experience was good while using the original device.
The industry of IoT is supposed to be a long term, intricately woven business model, but that very aspect is what continues to lack here. In order for the sector to see its next stage of evolution, there needs to be a seamless connection between consumer demands, technical skills, and business intelligence. The gap between these three primary aspects must be closed to create the secured, interconnected environment for business and life that was originally envisioned.