Without the Internet of Things today, it is almost impossible to imagine any large business related to customer service functioning efficiently. Unfortunately, representatives of many companies cannot decide to introduce these innovative technologies into their business, as they believe that the IoT cost of a software development project is too high for them. This is not surprising because, according to global research, the IoT market is developing rapidly and is already worth trillions of dollars. But company owners are often wrong, and below is a detailed description of how much this turnkey technology costs.
Stages of IoT implementation in the development of applications for customers
When a potential client contacts developers to create and implement IoT technology in a business process management system, the service is provided following the following steps:
· Analysis of the types and quantities of physical objects indoors or outdoors to install sensors. Acquisition of devices, in strict accordance with the technical requirements, as well as their implementation for the analysis of phenomena, actions, tracking transactions, or other operations with the aim of subsequent transmission of information to actuating devices.
· Communication bridge device between sensors installed on physical objects and actuators. Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology can be used as a wireless connection. Some customers insist on switching devices using fiber optic cables, provided that the sensors and receivers are located in the same building. At this stage, the final estimated cost of developing IoT applications is also determined, which allows developers to calculate the exact price and agree on it with the customer.
· Obtaining the developed software and embedded program codes to the cloud service for remote access. This modern technology significantly reduces the costs of a potential client for the full development of an enterprise website with interactive functions, free clusters, the creation of user data storage, and their accounts on the company’s server.
· The fourth stage is the direct development of software, which includes the architecture of an intelligent product, design, user interface, a set of basic and additional commands, and predicting the system’s responses to signals from sensors to enable the operation of IoT technology.
· At the last stage of work, at the request of the customer, security systems, multi-stage coding of consumer accounts, and protection of payment data are developed and implemented, which eliminates the risk of theft of personal information, as well as money or other intellectual values belonging to both the company and end-users.
Each of these stages takes a certain time and requires the presence of electronic devices, software, and other products that have their own cost. As a result, the final cost of the application is formed based on the calculation of the number of hours of work of specialists involved in the IoT creation processes and hardware requirements.
Factors Affecting the Cost of IoT Platform and Application Development
The final cost of developing an IoT application to optimize business process management can be affected by the following 3 basic direct factors:
· Security and protection against cyber-attacks, encryption of program codes.
· Compatibility of developed and implemented applications with the most popular types of software.
· Scalability of applications and the entire system, in case of expansion without a nose, without the need for a complete rearrangement of software and replacement of sensors.
Thus, when developing new software and implementing it into IoT technology, experts recommend that customers foresee all the nuances from the beginning, even if they will cost more. But the business plan is drawn up with a 1 to 5-year horizon, which will lead to a quick payback and profit, as opposed to initial savings with subsequent constant costs for upgrading the entire system.
What questions should the customer answer when drawing up a technical assignment?
When developing terms of reference during a brainstorming session, a potential customer must answer the following important questions:
· How will information be collected for analysis?
· What information will help answer the main questions and achieve your goal?
· How should the information received be processed to achieve the set goals?
· What electronic devices and software should be used to achieve the goals?
· What set of services should the detuned business offer to the end consumer?
If the customer can answer all the above questions, the terms of reference will fully justify the set strategic goals and, as a result, the investment will bring the first profitability in the shortest possible time.
The final cost of developing IoT technology on a turnkey basis can cost from 30 thousand dollars, provided that an individual user data protection system or some complex program codes are not expected. If an individual unique IoT technology is being developed, the cost starts from $50,000.
What hidden costs may arise before the customer and how to avoid them?
To avoid hidden costs, the client must initially take into account the maximum number of factors, tasks, and problems at the stage of the initial development of an intellectual product, such as:
· First of all, before starting work on creating and implementing IoT platforms and applications, it is necessary to draw up a project, algorithms for the future system, and terms of reference.
· Brainstorm and order the Discovery service offered by most IoT developers. This service costs from 5 to 15 thousand dollars, but at this stage, developers initially take into account the full amount of necessary investments, form a schedule indicating all the necessary stages, and also exclude from the previously compiled list those items that do not involve the creation of important program codes or details of the algorithm for the interaction of sensors with actuators in IoT.
· Ensure software scalability. As a rule, with the right business, the system inevitably expands, which requires the installation of new sensors, copies of the software, and actuators. Without the possibility of scaling, the user will be forced to order the development of new software, which will violate the business plan.
· Possibility to change the sphere of detail of the company without a complete adjustment of program codes and algorithms for the interaction of sensors with actuators. These actions are initially laid down in the project and reduce the risk of hidden costs.
The figures above allow the consumer to navigate the approximate cost of developing IoT technology. However, an accurate assessment of these works is possible only during brainstorming and drawing up a detailed estimate indicating each stage of implementing an intellectual product and program codes. Thus, to get the most acceptable commercial offer, the customer should draw up a detailed technical task and, in the brainstorming process, listen to the professionals and exclude unnecessary options in the future application.
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