With each year the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming more and more relevant. This revolutionary new technology isn’t limited to cities, big organizations, and industries anymore. It is slowly moving into the homes of everyday people as well.
Today there are billions and billions of IoT devices worldwide. And one thing is certain - the future will bring even more IoT integration. There will be more investments and technological progress and we will see IoT everywhere - from functional smart cities to households filled with smart appliances.
Right now we can define at least two kinds of IoT: consumer IoT and Industrial IoT (IIoT). Customer IoT encompasses all smart devices and applications designed for the consumer market (personal use). Examples would include smart home devices, home security systems, watches, etc.
Industrial IoT encompasses all smart devices and applications used for industrial operations. Some examples are smart robotics, autonomous sensors, location tracking devices, devices for monitoring, etc. Such technologies help organizations save money and achieve better performance.
But what does DevOps have to do with IoT? At first, some may be confused by the idea of applying DevOps methodology to this growing technology. After all, IoT includes hardware, firmware, as well as code. Furthermore, such smart devices have to continue their life cycle after they have been deployed.
As a development methodology, DevOps has proven to be very effective. It’s only a matter of time before its principles become included in more industries. So it’s no wonder some organizations have recognized its benefits when it comes to IoT. Among other things, they can help assure product quality, accelerate development, optimize business models, and help with security. And all of these can apply to both customer and industrial IoT.
The competition is high, and companies are usually pressured to deliver their products as fast as possible. However, at the same time, the end product should also be of quality. Properly done, DevOps greatly helps with exactly that.
As mentioned before, IoT devices’ lifecycles start after they are deployed, and end users start using them. So what happens when these devices require an update? Such updates not only affect the software but sometimes the firmware and hardware as well. Things get even more complicated when there are thousands of such devices that have to be updated. And all of that should happen simultaneously so the end user can continue using their products seamlessly.
The CI/CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) pipeline allows the development teams to automate aspects of their work. This simplifies and quickens the deployment rate of new updates. Of all the other methodologies, DevOps has the best solutions.
A great advantage of smart devices is that they can collect data and thus provide feedback to companies. That is especially helpful after deploying a new update or a feature, and this way companies can track user satisfaction. Companies should analyze that data, and further decisions and updates should be backed by the results found.
It’s not simple to define what the key performance indicator (KPI) of your device should be, or how to measure it. However, that should be done early in the development process, so the development team can properly design the code to collect the data. Also, they can implement analytics to try and predict all the issues the product might have even long before it’s deployed.
Because user behavior can rapidly change during the product life cycle, manufacturers should have an agile methodology to quickly answer all challenges. DevOps provides continuous monitoring and quick feedback loops, which allows the team to optimize the products faster.
Such ways of testing, feedback loops, and delivery times allow companies to seek other models and sources of revenue. They aren’t forced to be stagnant, but can actively look for new opportunities.
Also, enhancing your development cycle can positively impact your bottom line by cutting production costs. The turnarounds are quicker, while the products are secure and better. DevOps methodologies scale IoT systems up and down so they constantly stay cost-effective and productive.
The opportunities are great and it’s up to companies to utilize their newfound resources how they see fit. DevOps can facilitate even more technologies and tools, like machine learning and automatization to further help IoT companies in delivering quality products.
IoT technologies are constantly evolving and the number of smart IoT devices is growing day by day. IoT companies operate in an agile environment and have to be ready to promptly respond to the ever-changing market and customer behavior.
The advantages of using DevOps in such organizations are many. It helps shorten the delivery cycle time while still producing quality products. It automatizes the parts of development teams’ work so they can deliver updates faster. The quick feedback loops and data collecting gives insight into how to further optimize and better the products. And all of this opens the businesses up to new market opportunities.
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