3. Approaching IoT App Development Like Hardware Development
Before we had computers small enough to put in our pockets, innovating was a pretty conventional process — you identified a problem, then perfected solutions, then mass-produced your final product. But IoT applications must be agile enough to adapt on-the-fly. If your hardware or device has been thoughtfully designed, you can add new features to your IoT product simply by updating the software and firmware. Unfortunately, many companies’ product development approaches aren’t flexible and agile, causing them to fall behind.
We’ve found at Very that Agile and Lean methodologies work especially well for IoT development. That’s because the goal with these approaches is to solve your users’ problems as quickly as possible by developing a minimum viable product (MVP), and then iterating on that initial MVP with each release.
With Agile and Lean, you begin your project by focusing on the most critical, value-add pieces of your IoT application. Conveniently, the beginning of your project is also when you’ll have the most budget available to your team. If sacrifices have to be made down the road, Agile and Lean make it so that those compromises won’t affect the core of your IoT product.
4. Failing to Account for Real-World Conditions During the Development Process
The real world is messy. That’s why agile IoT is relevant and necessary.
Human behavior is unpredictable. The rate at which your hardware will deteriorate is unknown. It's hard to predict or account for the impact of the unique blend of temperature, moisture, dust, and bugs (the arthropod kind!) that any device may experience.
For this reason, user testing is critical to the success of your IoT product’s user experience — and that testing shouldn’t happen in the lab, or be conducted by anyone seriously involved in the creation of the product.
The lab — where everything runs perfectly and you can control all the surrounding conditions — is not the real world. Similarly, the people who developed your product don’t represent your real users, who won’t know anything about how the device and/or app is supposed to work until they start experimenting with it.
Your user tests should happen in the real world, with people who closely resemble your real users. That's where you're going to see how your product actually functions, and how it can be improved.
Facing Challenges in IoT Development
Companies investing in IoT are moving quickly. They have an eye to the future, they’re trying to innovate, and the rate of innovation required to stay competitive and lead is fast.
By getting familiar with the most common IoT development pitfalls and learning how to avoid them, however, businesses have the opportunity to surpass competitors and deliver compelling IoT products that meet the real needs of their customers.
Ready to learn more? With this guide to IoT development, go beyond what we've covered in this post, and get the resources you need to start your own IoT project.