The Internet Of Things And How To Gain New Digital Advantages


Worldwide spending on the Internet of Things (IoT) will rise to nearly $1.3 trillion in 2019 according to a new International Data Corporation (IDC ) Spending Guide. Spending in this area reached $698.6 billion in 2015, indicating a projected 17.0% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) across the next three years.

Driving this spending are a host of new opportunities that IoT devices can solve, including new ways of doing business, from digital sales to customer engagement. As more IoT devices come online in both businesses and homes, these opportunities will become more frequent and prevalent. And just as both business and consumer customers have become habituated to the speed and convenience that technology delivers, they will become even more demanding of instant responses from the companies they do business with.

In fact, in some scenarios, users will become so accustomed to receiving proactive responses that they will expect to receive them before they even realise they have a need. We call this phenomenon “digital moments” because these opportunities entail a nearly instantaneous reaction from businesses to consumer demand.

These needs will differ depending on user and sector requirements. For instance, in retail, consumers that desire to purchase the latest fashions at bargain prices could respond to a smart device in their closet informing them of a flash sale at their favorite online clothing store. In the manufacturing sector, equipment can be monitored with an IoT device that predicts and warns of a pending failure so preemptive action can be taken.

Wine producers are another example. They can monitor soil moisture and measure other factors that enable them to select the optimum time to harvest their grapes. The common thread in each of these situations—whether they are external or internal facing—is that digital moments will transform the forces and dynamics in which businesses and consumers behave.

To succeed in this new paradigm requires technologies that enable organisations to provide a nearly instantaneous support for digital moments, either by enabling them or reacting to them. To achieve this one must be able to rapidly build, test and deploy multi-device digital applications that address business and consumer needs. However, this increased production and management of apps will likely lead to bottlenecks and budget complications if organisations do not adopt new and more efficient tools to develop applications.

At issue is the typical process in which most businesses develop apps, leading to long time to market as well as diverting significant resources for the management of current and new applications. These same resources could be better served using an enhanced process to build and manage apps that offers greater innovation in less time and at less expense.

Currently, many companies develop their application without a plan that anticipates the full lifecycle of an app. This leads to the realization that, after spending considerable time and money, their applications do not work on all devices. Other unanticipated problems arise. These include huge cost of application maintenance and the difficulty to adapt to rapidly changing needs. Such challenges are preventing companies from taking advantage of the benefits that these new digital moments provide.

To gain these advantages, businesses need to correctly perform three tasks. First, they must develop innovative digital applications that efficiently solve real-world problems. Second, they must use an equally innovative and scalable method that increases the velocity of developing, deploying and managing enterprise applications. Third, they must produce apps that run on any device.

To achieve these three criteria, businesses are relying on RAD (Rapid Application Delivery) platforms. However, many soon discover that not all RAD systems provide the degree of sophistication required to develop truly innovative applications. It is critical to test RAD platforms before investing in an application development program.

With proper due diligence, an organisation can select a RAD platform that empowers app developers to focus on innovation while not sacrificing on the power or control necessary to make robust and scalable solutions. When applications address a long-term strategy, including app management lifecycle as well as delivering the capacity needed to manage the digital moments that will occur in the not too distant future, companies will be able to truly benefit from IoT devices and the increased customer engagement they provide.

Pedro Pimenta

Pedro Pimenta is VP of Engineering at OutSystems, the world’s leading Rapid Application Development and Delivery (RAD) platform for the enterprise.