Technology has become the No. 1 factor that shapes the future of our lives. One of the huge trends responsible for these changes is Internet of Things. It creates new opportunities for many businesses but it can be also extremely challenging. That’s why we wanted to take a look at some of the most important technical IoT challenges and show you some possible solutions.
Technical IoT challenges are often the reason for projects to fail. However, even more often they’re the reason that stops companies from implementing these solutions. Instead of dropping the project we prefer to face challenges and find the right solutions for them at the beginning of development.
Table of Contents:
- Energy consumption
- Lack of standardization
With IoT development there comes a lot of concerns. It’s a fear from both companies and customers. Fear of being hacked because of unsafe system is very widely spread in our society. Because of that, there’s a big pressure to make these solutions as safe as they can be.
The number of connected devices in 2019 is 26 million. By 2025 this number will surpass 75 million.
Intel offers Security Essentials that helps with securing the whole path from hardware to the cloud in the IoT ecosystem.
Scalability of IoT systems is a popular topic of discussions in tech community. It’s also a big technical IoT challange that companies face a lot of the times. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
An easy definition of scalability would be:
“Scalability is an attribute that describes the ability of a process, network, software or organization to grow and manage increased demand.”
Why scalability is considered to be one of technical IoT challenges? Because it’s often disregarded and not considered enough during designing process.
Investing in highly scalable system is the best way to allow your project and your company grow. Of course, we still want to develop project in smart sprints with a proper POC. However, adjusting software since the beginning is the best way to allow you scaling-up in the right time. Re-platforming in a late stage of growth is extremely difficult and risky. Especially when the system is in the hands of your customers. Any inconsistency of performance will be affecting your clients opinion about you and the product. In that late stage of products life, the price of allowing downtime to happen is too high.
Architectures limits are the hardest to fix when the project is already big. That’s why preparing it for our ‘best case scenario’ is the safest way to manage the growth of the project.
One of not only economical but also environmental IoT challenges is energy consumption. Internet of Things devices leave big energy footprint and will continue to do so until…
5G is available worldwide.
IoT devices use a lot of energy for gathering and exchange of data, communication and computing power. Without 5G, devices need to be able to manage those tasks by themselves which causes a lot of energy usage and shorter battery life.
Introducing 5G to IoT solutions will allow devices to send all data to the cloud where the tasks would be managed and sent back onto the device. This would allow producers to extend battery life as well as cut costs in hardware requirements.
Moreover, using 5G will be the solution to latency issue in IoT devices. Right now, there’s one or the other. Devices can either consume less energy by implementing sleep mode and have to deal with a latency issue caused by many informations being transformed at once. Or their battery is extremely ineffective but sends and receives informations fast.
5G will create a perfect combination of low latency and high throughput where the battery can last longer and tasks can be managed on the cloud.
Lack of Standardization
Internet of Things has evolved very rapidly which caused a lot of chaos in the ways it’s being developed. Companies in order to create an IoT solution started producing all of the components including both hardware and software. Different solutions and ways have been introduced to the market and different companies started using different solutions. Current IoT projects are often closed systems that won’t allow communication with something that’s not the part of the solution in the first place.
Lack of standardization has become one of the biggest technical IoT challenges on the market. There’s a need for companies to influence IoT solution standards like standard protocols, communication or data exchange. This is the only way to allow IoT technology further expansion.
Moreover, lack of standardization causes many other technical IoT challenges like connectivity issues and lack of compatibility.
Using cloud is a common practice in IoT solutions. However, it also comes with risks. If your IoT solution is based only on an application logic stored on a cloud, not being able to access those data causes your system to fail. Centralized system of communication creates a risk that when the main app fails, the entire system stops working immediately. The best case scenario is when your system still maintains some type of non-smart task without access to data.
Implementing mesh networking system will protect your system from shutting off. It will allow communication between devices even if the access to the main app is cut off. This decentralized network gives devices a chance to identify, authenticate themselves and exchange data directly without access to cloud.
Devices will still be able to communicate with each other on a certain level and execute its tasks.
So how to create a product that will communicate with other devices despite them using different solutions?
Lack of standardization causes many issues in communication between different applications from different producers. However, there are certain ways to allow devices see each other and transport informations.
For now, the best option to connect to a third party system is by using API integration.
API stands for Application Programming Interface and creating it allows external devices and servers communicate with the application.
API is a way to open closed system. The issue is that a producer of a device that you want to integrate with, has to create API and allow other integrate with it. Only then you can get access to certain informations from the device.
For example, even though 4 different devices uses 4 different protocols of communication and stores data on 4 different servers, we can still create communication between them if all of them have APIs.
These technical IoT challenges are the most common issues that IoT producers face. There are ways to avoid it and stop it from ruining a project. However, they’re often ignored or not considered enough.
These challenges are something that needs to be thought about at the very beginning of products development. Only this can prevent potential risks that Internet of Things devices stumbleupon.
If you’re looking for experts to guide you through development process and to help you with creating the right architecture for your IoT project, contact our team. We’ll help you manage the technical IoT challenges at a very early stage of development.