Developing IoT Applications the Smart Way
To develop IoT applications as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, CIOs and IT leaders are looking for the best developer talent out there. The challenge is that building connected, intelligent apps currently requires many, disparate technologies. Therefore, not just any team of developers will do. Designing and deploying connected and intelligent apps requires a mastery of different code architectures and technologies. There are also new skills required for IoT projects, creating unique new roles that need to be filled. Finding this unique talent seems impossible to accomplish.
As noted in a recent Gartner CIO Agenda Report, 66% of CIOs believe there is a talent crisis in the world, yet there is surprisingly little talent innovation to be found. According to a statistic cited by Gartner, through 2021, market demand for app development will grow at least five times faster than IT capacity to deliver it.
Fortunately, finding your IoT application team doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems. CIOs should consider how emerging technologies focused on abstracting away from technical complexity can close the talent gap. Rather than seeking out specialized talent to manage everything needed for your IoT initiatives, consider using an IoT Software Platform coupled with a low-code development platform.
IoT Software Platforms bring together the different technologies required for an IoT project. Using these platforms can help simplify the process of deploying, managing, operating, and capturing insight from IoT-enabled connected devices. Some IoT Software platforms to consider include: IBM Bluemix, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, GE Predix and SAP Hana.
Combining IoT Software Platforms with a low-code development platform can alleviate the talent challenge by enabling a broader range of users to build IoT Apps. By using visual models and reusable components and connectors to IoT services, professional developers and business analysts alike can build IoT applications. Model-driven development ensures that the business and IT have a common language to rapidly test, build and iterate new IoT solutions.
Finding the Right Talent for Your IoT Projects
Believe it or not, your talent pool for building IoT applications does not need to be filled with developers that have specialized IoT experience and technical skills. Instead, look for personnel with a specific mentality instead of skillset. Here are the roles you should be looking to fill:
Developer with Business Acumen
This person has a good understanding of the business side of the project and has spent years developing the ability to see the big picture when it comes to software development. This person has a solid understanding of all of the tiers of software development (database, middleware, business logic, UI) and SDLC (requirements, developing, testing, releasing), but does not need to be a proficient coder.
Business Analyst with Technical Skills
This business expert doesn’t need to know multi-tier development, but has the ability to layout screens, rapidly build prototypes, build logic flows, and can model data.
Not all projects will need this role, so you won’t need as many of them. This individual can do the following: 1) Build widgets that other developers can use to build user interfaces in the presentation tier of the app. 2) Build Java based custom components that can be used within microflows that extend functionality in a way that can be used by non-developers. 3) Can integrate with web APIs, third party systems and ERP systems. The way to do these last two tasks is by writing extension components or integrations in Java and creating a connector that can be used by non-coding developers.
At the heart of the IoT projects stands a strategic thinker with a creative streak who understands the ‘why’ of technical decisions and how innovation translates into business value. The Vanguard Architect is also human-centric and possesses a behavioral knowhow required to influence people, build trust among team members, and lead the organization through disruption in the industry.
Take Development to the Next Level
Once you have your talent pool in place, you can begin structuring your team to complete your first project. Keep in mind that with this flexible and diverse group, you can implement an entire digital transformation program, not just a single IoT project. Once your new team of business savvy and agile developers works through one project together successfully, you can split your talent into multiple teams that can work on many different types of projects.