IoT app development is known for its capacities to enhance agility, productivity, and security. So what’s in store for 2021?
More focus on container technologies in IoT platforms
Gartner projects that over 75% of global organizations will be using containerized apps in production by 2022. So far, container technologies have been part of traditional enterprise IT environments and cloud architectures. Recent developments in industrial IoT platforms and the increased demand for vendor-neutral IoT technologies, however, have made containers increasingly relevant for the Internet of Things.
What is a container? This is a lightweight virtualization technology that includes an entire runtime environment. This means an application and all its dependencies, plus the libraries and configuration files required to run the application. Container technologies help you abstract differences in operating systems and underlying infrastructures. This is why they are often embedded in IoT platforms so that you can connect to any device and virtually make any machine or piece of legacy equipment IoT-ready.
As the pace of changing and updating applications grows, container isolation becomes increasingly important. Since modules are fully independent and interact with one another only through well-defined APIs, they can be updated without affecting their environments.
Empowering AI processes at the edge
Containers also empower edge computing as they are becoming an indispensable part of AI-enabled processes at the edge. AI and machine learning models can be trained and deployed via isolated containers on edge devices. Also, the software deployed at the edge has to be regularly updated. So IoT platforms have made it possible to manage and run containerized workloads from the cloud.
Enabling better security and app management
Partitioning functionalities between different containers makes it possible to run individual updates that do not affect other applications. Also, this means that IoT platform users can assign different privileges to different containers, from an administrator to a read-only role. This enhances security and guarantees the integrity of assets.
On the IoT platform, developers can create their container development and deployment environments. This way, they can code and test before deploying their IoT apps into production environments. IoT app development virtually thrives on container technology. Developers can easily manage the IoT apps installed on devices, regardless of the number of devices or their location.
More power to the developer role
Typically, developers are focused on fast innovation and on improving security. They commit code, perform releases and update dependencies. But developers are getting more vocal about their part in the IoT development process. Their role continues to evolve as they are beginning to gain more visibility as individual contributors. IoT platform features such as the IoT app store make it possible for developers to showcase their work. Developers can place their developed IoT apps on marketplaces that are embedded directly into the IoT platform.
This way, developers working on IoT platforms can form their “platforms within the platform” where they share and market their own IoT apps and app templates. In turn, IoT platforms are becoming more aware of the essential role of developers in the IoT process and becoming increasingly development-centric, placing more emphasis on community-building, knowledge sharing, and IoT collaboration.
A greater role for IoT in mobile app development
The mobile app development industry is also about to experience a turn to the Internet of Things. So expect a huge diversification of IoT mobile app development trends in the coming year and beyond.
IoT apps for Big Data and AI
Big Data strategies for capturing and storing IoT data plus apps for processing the large volumes of data collected by IoT devices will be gaining even more attention. Also, machine learning models packaged as IoT apps to be rolled out at the IoT edge are getting more popular. The combination of Big Data, IoT, and AI helps developers automate and simplify trivial tasks and thus assists industrial manufacturers, automotive, logistics, and retail companies in streamlining their operations and improving their consumer services.
More IoT apps for predictive maintenance in smart homes
Using IoT for predictive maintenance is already the norm in industrial manufacturing. Now, predictive maintenance apps will be entering the consumer segment at a greater pace. Smart home ecosystems will get even more consolidated and optimized. They will be notifying mobile app users about appliance failures, will predict performance shortages, and will be sending out alerts whenever maintenance checks are needed. Home care services powered by IoT and AI will be entirely self-managed, making the human presence during repairs or maintenance checkups unnecessary.
More IoT apps for anomaly detection in industrial manufacturing
At the same time, industrial manufacturers will be ramping up their data analytics capabilities to improve their anomaly detection techniques. The ML algorithms, in turn, will be packaged as mobile IoT apps and rolled out in manufacturing plants across the globe. This way, manufacturers will be able to trace and anticipate unwanted behavior in their operations and possible anomalies in equipment performance or process management so that they can react to these from anywhere.
IoT apps optimized for real-time and near real-time monitoring are already making it possible to track asset conditions across the globe from within a single venue (think IIoT platforms), truly paving the way towards a future of full automation.