Why Organisations Must Not Overlook Connectivity Design Before Rushing IoT Devices to Market

Jon Darley

Director of Things


This article was originally featured on betanews.com.

Spurred on by the dramatic shift in the global economy, the acceleration of digital transformation triggered a rise in new technologies appearing on the market. As a result, businesses have responded fiercely, scaling IoT initiatives rapidly, with mixed results.

With growing interruptions in workflow due to poor connectivity, integration, and supply chain issues, organisations have had to cope with a long list of challenges when deploying IoT to market. This has included the drive to cut costs, adhere to ever-tighter deadlines, and plug the ongoing engineering skills shortage gap.

While field deployment is invaluable in understanding real-world behaviour and use of a product, many businesses, in their rush to reduce time to market for IoT products, underestimate the complexities of device design and the connectivity landscape. If the project is rushed from the design stage to deployment, it can devalue IoT’s effectiveness in the field, resulting in inconsistent connection and potentially damaging the business’s reputation.

But if businesses are to take advantage of the digital revolution, how can they deliver IoT products that remain reliable and competitive without raising costs and lengthening project time frames?

Connectivity at the device design stage

In a recent Eseye and Kaleido Intelligence survey of over 750 enterprises across international markets, 84% of respondents said that hardware design was the biggest challenge they faced in initial IoT deployments.

The effectiveness of an IoT device is defined by its ability to connect and deliver its data. The application breaks unless the device or ‘thing’ can communicate effectively from device to network over the entire lifecycle of the product. But the reliability of the connectivity is not governed just by the network or technology the device is using.

Success, or failure, is invariably traced back to the initial design. Not just in the physical design of electronics but in the methodologies and processes used to connect and deliver data consistently. Even in changeable network conditions.

In many cases, devices and applications operate in remote, often hostile, noisy environments such as mines, oil refineries, the manufacturing floor, or warehouses. Designing, deploying and optimising an IoT solution to provide flexible, reliable, and resilient communications can be incredibly complex, particularly for devices that will be deployed for years in a constantly changing environment.

With many businesses finding it challenging to plan in today’s volatile climate, enterprises still feel that their IoT device should work without constant maintenance, especially where connectivity and networks are concerned.

However, some elements of an IoT device may need continuous maintenance. You cannot always predict how the market may evolve and how the regulatory climate could change. Network behaviour may also need to change as the estate grows. What works as a process for thousands of devices may no longer work as you scale beyond a hundred thousand. Therefore, a good understanding of device lifecycle management at the design stage, connectivity requirements, and the evolution of networks and security, can save time and cost further down the line.

Key areas of challenge for businesses

Today, the IoT ecosystem is still hugely fragmented and challenging to navigate. With many options across microcontrollers, modem providers, software stacks, and other components, how can businesses – reduce the complexity of bringing all these components together when taking IoT devices to market?

Perhaps the best way to answer this is first to identify three core challenges facing IoT initiatives:

Increasingly, organisations only seek help when IoT devices fail to work or stop altogether. Therefore, businesses need to pay more attention to the device design at the outset. Taking time to consider the connectivity of an IoT device at the design stage can dramatically reduce time to market, reduce costs, reduce – the risk of unreliability, and protect your investment.

The benefits of partnering

Organisations can benefit from the support of a specialist IoT connectivity solutions partner who can identify vulnerabilities in an IoT estate quickly and accurately. A partner can alleviate the pressure on already limited engineering resources and address issues by bridging the knowledge gap with essential engineering support. At the same time, partnering protects company investment and provides business value with ongoing management and maintenance while maximising connectivity.

Managing an IoT estate is highly complex, requiring constant monitoring and supervision to ensure connectivity and operational assets are up-to-date and working. A software module that can provide real-time device intelligence offering connection selection, management, and optimisation can reduce downtime from network outages and thus maintain device reliability. Strong foundations supporting global deployments are essential for a fully operational future-proofed IoT estate to perform downstream if these are implemented at the design stage.

Therefore, with a considered approach to connectivity, enterprises can look forward to successful deployment. This allows for in-house technical and engineering teams to focus on adding value, knowing their IoT solutions are secure and working, even when new networks or connectivity requirements emerge in the future.

Jon Darley

Director of Things


Jon is an IoT hardware expert with over thirty years of engineering experience. He is the driving force behind Eseye’s rapid prototyping approach, helping customers to reduce their time to market by 75% with a robust testing process.

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