Davra Storms MQ
Technological advances in IoT are moving at a pace most of us can’t keep up with; from IoT implementation through to security, there are a myriad of factors that need to be considered. Amongst all of these is our workforce, those who need to be trained to use these new systems in the day to day running of the business, and those needed to develop and implement such new systems with the necessary IoT skills.
It can be a little tricky to figure out how to go about building out a new IoT team. Will you train and level up current employees, hire new employees, hire specific roles such as data analysts or developers, or will you choose to outsource development to remote workers?
As well as deciding on how you will progress your team, you must also think about the IoT system itself. An IoT infrastructure usually encompasses multiple layers, including devices, communications, data management, data analytics and the user interface. When all of these layers are understood and mapped to the systems in your organisation, you can then begin to reach out to the right developers and talents to bring them into your team.
Embedded development is a key component to IoT systems because they comprise multiple devices and machinery that are not necessarily made for feeding information, but need to be controlled in some way to gleam their data. This software is very specific to the hardware it runs on, and has limited memory due to the device’s computing abilities.
Knowledge in C, C++, GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) and I2C (Inter-Integrated Circuit), Java SE Embedded and the operating system Contiki.
The IoT gateway sits between all the devices and sensors in the field or organisational environment, and the cloud. They offer local processing solutions and can support any number of devices with different means of communicating (through the likes of Bluetooth, WiFi or Z-Wave for example). This means the gateways need to handle huge volumes of data on a consistent basis, hence needing secure and reliable networks.
The skills needed to excel in this area are a knowledge of the OSI stack, various networking protocols and practices, C++ and the latest IoT standards in communication.
Because of the sheer volume of data and the various types of data sets captured, this is an area that needs to be developed correctly from the beginning. Otherwise, the data produced will not aid the decisions needed to be made. Data solutions need to be scalable and able to manage the large volume.
Developers must know how data is organised, from the initial processing in data lakes and warehousing, through to streaming. Java, Python and Query languages, along with knowledge of data storage frameworks such as Apache Cassandra will aid the data developer in compiling the data management system.
Without proper data visualisation techniques, the data pulled from the various devices is all useless if it cannot be understood or applied to growing business solutions. There are varying levels of data sorting here, from batch processing to processing a number of varying events together to find correlations between the data sets. Machine learning also comes into play here, where anomalies, or outliers in the data need to be found to assess if the equipment or process is operating as it should.
Hadoop, Scala and Python are all languages and programmes a developer must be familiar with in order to succeed in this realm.
It doesn’t finish at the gathering and processing step; it must finally be presented in a way that’s legible to the end user, or those using this data to make decisions. This could be in the form of graphs, or system alerts if there is something wrong with a machine. These outputs could be delivered through either web apps or mobile apps, so knowledge in both back- and front-end web development is required. For mobile apps, user friendly iOS and Android native app development is required, along with a sleek design fitted to the user’s needs.
There are a lot of factors to consider when developing an IoT system, from the device software and embedding right through to the decision-maker using a customised mobile app. At Davra, we have years of experience developing IoT programmes that span multiple industries. From Davra Care to transport systems in San Diego, our team have collaborated to bring about efficiencies that are changing business models for the better. If you would like to get in touch to chat about your team and talent needs, please contact us today.
Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO