DevOps Helps Enterprises Deliver Better, Faster Software for the IoT

Connected devices in the Internet of Things

Nowadays, just about every business is a software business. Software is considered the main driver for innovation and disruption across markets. To keep up with the competition, large enterprises need to continually deliver better software, faster.

Along with the emergence of the software-driven business, we’ve also seen the Internet of Things (IoT) grow and influence our everyday lives through smart homes, automated features in cars, and more. There are already billions of IoT devices in use, and those numbers are only projected to increase: Gartner predicts that by 2020, there will be more than 26 billion IoT devices deployed.

As the world becomes more connected, it’s changing the way we do things, especially in relation to software delivery. We have become accustomed to connectivity from anywhere. We have environments that will automatically optimize based on comfort or cost, we can access continuous reporting, and we expect software updates over the air.

When we examine the vast amount of software needed for a connected, IoT-driven world, we also see a lot of challenges. The IoT software delivery pipeline is complex and difficult. For starters, software development for IoT applications presents obstacles concerning security, privacy, and unified standards.

Additionally, each IoT product is composed of at least three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end-user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and is deployed to a different stack or target. All these variables make the integration of separate pipelines and the coordination of software updates for IoT problematic, to say the least.

In addition to muddled development teams and disparate practices, we have to figure out a way to combat skyrocketing infrastructure costs, visibility and compliance concerns, and quality issues. Not only do customers want software fast, but they want value at speed. Continuous delivery of IoT services is essential for success. How do we successfully connect all these different pieces to deliver software?

The good news is that we need look no further than DevOps to find the answers. Most large enterprises that are delivering fast, high-quality software are somewhere along their own personal DevOps journeys. These organizations have a lot of things in common, such as shared goals across teams, a can-do culture, measurability, visibility, continuous improvement, smaller cycle times, and automation.

When the right patterns, tools, and processes fall into place, software development speeds up and quality reigns. Suddenly, disparate teams experience end-to-end visibility and traceability, accelerated delivery, and predictable quality.

Anders Wallgren is presenting the session Connected Devices, Connected Code, and Connected Teams: The Challenges of IoT Software Delivery at the IoT Dev + Test 2017 conference, April 24–28 in San Diego, California.

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