Choosing an IoT Software Development Vendor

Thousands of contrasting IoT software development vendors crowd the confusing ecosystem market. How do you know which is right for your business solution? Let’s make it a smart choice, not a daunting task.

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Thousands of contrasting IoT software development vendors have stimulated market growth today. But at the same time, overcrowding has made the landscape bewildering and confusing. It comprises cloud platform providers, system integrators, hardware companies, and startups. However, it’s an important, significant decision to select an ideal IoT software development partner. In this piece, I’ll try to guide you toward making smart choices.

A chart mapping the fragmented landscape of IoT software development ecosystems, cutting across several verticals and horizontals
Image credit: Frost & Sullivan

As the IoT landscape is vast and ever-changing, with multitudes of options available, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. What’s perfect for one business could be fatal for yours. Here’s a tip. Start with a simple question: “What is the scope of my project?”

Define Your Business Requirements

Is your business big or small? Do you focus on global or local markets? What is your primary concern when launching a new product? Do you need the entire IoT platform or a basic application? Many projects fail without a clear understanding of core issues before jumping to solution making.

To find the best fit for an IoT project implementation, determine the business problems you aim to solve with it. Set metrics for the objectives you want to achieve.

Start with mapping a draft scheme of your end-to-end solution—all the way from embedded sensors generating valuable data to connected devices driving actionable insights for the associated business process.

Once you have a vision and scope outlined, you are better prepared to evaluate IoT software development vendors. Here are the criteria.

Go For Scalability

When your company evolves the solution you have built needs to grow accordingly. Your IoT outsourcing partner has to demonstrate scalability and a comprehensive plan to allow your business to manage the progress easily.

Adding new features should not lead to a reorganization of the whole solution. Start cooperating with a chosen company, provided it has a strong track record of starting small and scaling as business needs grow. Make sure the vendor can add new devices and transform infrastructure quickly. They should be able to your plans and strategies.

Since bringing a solution to market consists of many pieces of a puzzle, pay attention to a vendor’s agility and ability to become a one-stop shop for you. The ideal scenario is when the IoT software development vendor can single-handedly offer all the functions required and scale to match your business needs. Then you don’t need to turn to multiple third parties.

Opt for the company that can become your single point of contact and support, handling each aspect of the solution. A single POC eliminates complexity, unexpected expenses, and delays.

Choose a flexible IoT software development vendor

You have to ensure that the software development company you’re partnering with is flexible enough to align its technologies with your legacy architecture. The solution has to be effective in your existing infrastructure without limiting system capacity and delaying time to deployment.

Your potential IoT software development vendor has to field your questions concerning customization and personalization. They need to provide options to harmonize with all aspects of your company’s infrastructure. If a service provider is capable of customizing their offering to your needs and delivering a tailor-made solution, then you’ve found a good fit.

Go for a security-driven provider

Security is one of the most critical concerns in today’s dynamic IoT environment. It has to be the backbone of an entire end-to-end software development lifecycle. The outsourcing company should know how to address and incorporate data encryption, network connectivity, device protection, application and cloud security.

In most cases, the development of IoT solutions consists of multiple layers and parts, including a technology stack, devices, data collection, storage, and transmission, connectivity, cloud services, and more. IoT service providers have to orchestrate the involved processes and components to avoid serious data security breaches. If you turn to a one-stop-shop provider, the risk is minimal. The IoT environment is tightly controlled, protected and secured.

Which cooperation model to choose?

Using offshore, dedicated teams for IoT software development is a great idea if you aim to empower your business with skilled and experienced experts. Simply put, outsourcing your project to this kind of team means cutting your planned time and budget because you don’t need to recruit, train and maintain in-house staff. You can focus on your core business activities instead.

One of the significant yet advantageous differences between the “offshore” and the “traditional” outsourcing model is this: the “offshore” team is fully at your disposal. It’s up to you which degree of monitoring and managing works best for you. A dedicated team is like your own personal IT department engaged in only your project and never sidetracked by any other tasks at the same time.

The model fits for projects aiming for growth and offers increased scalability depending on the business requirements. Usually, vendors can expand the team with extra resources to cover the projected gap really fast, which is hassle-free for you, since you don’t need to spend time selecting candidates and hiring employees.

What’s next?

When pre-selecting candidates, make sure the software company you consider cares about you and your business. If you not only quiz the potential partner, but the IoT offshore development vendor also asks you questions, it’s a good sign that they’re ready to take responsibility for your project.

Now, you have learned the main criteria for choosing an IoT solutions provider and the most comfortable cooperation model. It’s time to start looking for them. Good luck!