At Yeti, we know that venturing into the IoT landscape and beginning your connected app project can be exhilarating… and often overwhelming. We’re here to help you chose an IoT development team with the ability to deliver a product that meets the needs of you and your products user!
For many, the gravity of choosing the perfect IoT application development company can be especially intimidating - particularly when considering the impact this decision will ultimately have on the success of their product.
If this sounds familiar to you, fear not! We’re here to help you chose an IoT development team with the ability to deliver a product that meets the needs of you and your products user! While the process of hiring an adept IoT application development company is multifaceted, following these 8 steps will increase the likelihood of an amazing collaboration!
IoT development companies vary significantly in their pricing structures, so establishing a project budget before exploring your options is crucial.
When determining your budget it’s important to understand that feature rich platforms like Uber have taken many years and millions of dollars to arrive at their current state. For this reason, we recommend deciding what you’d like your MVP, or minimum viable product to include prior to determining your budget
Your MVP will be an app that delivers your products core value, and which includes just enough features to attract customers and validate your ideas. This will allow you to determine your products viability and demand before pouring money into an idea that may ultimately fail.
Once your MVP has been built and your ideas have been validated you can continue to iterate and add new features - but your MVP should always be your starting point.
It’s important to understand that, when building an app - no matter what the developers might say - you’re ultimately paying for time - the more features, integrations and platforms involved, the more costly the app will be.
That said, we usually see the development of a pared down MVP costing anywhere from $25,000 - $200,000, based on its complexity.
Some features that typically take more time and add higher costs to development projects include:
Considering your project timeline is essential when selecting an IoT application development company. Communicate your deadlines and milestones, and be cautious of promises to build an entire IoT application in an unrealistic timeframe. A good development company recommends building the MVP quickly to validate ideas through user testing.
While two to four months is a reasonable timeframe for the initial version, avoid prolonged development periods, as extended timelines may lead to building unnecessary features. Aim to have a beta version within three months of development initiation.
When searching for the right IoT software development team it’s important that you consider your timeline and communicate those needs to the teams you speak with. Discuss any concrete deadlines or milestones you need to meet and whether they will have the ability to meet them.
Likewise, unless your app is extremely simple, be wary of any team that tells you they can build your entire app in less than a month….or that it will take two years to complete the project.
A good app development company should recommend that your MVP be built quickly (without sacrificing quality) so that you can get it into the hands of users, validate your idea, and begin doing user testing.
Once you’ve received feedback from users you can continue to develop your app by adding the features and functionality that are unearthed during user testing the MVP.
At Yeti we don’t typically target two to four month build processes for the very first version of an app though, as mentioned earlier, there are some factors that can play a part in a longer build time, such as utilizing complicated technologies.
If you find yourself spending more than three months building the first version of your app, there is a very real possibility that you could end up spending time and money building a slew of features only to learn that they are not at all what the user is looking for. After 3 months you should be able to at least start playing with a beta version of your app.
When considering an IoT dev tea,, delving into their expertise and track record in IoT technology is critical. We always recommend evaluating any prospective team’s experience handling previous IoT projects and examining the diversity and complexity of their portfolio. If it’s within your budget it’s always better to hire a company that has successfully implemented smart home solutions, when that’s what you’re looking to implement yourself.
Technical proficiency is a key determinant of a company's IoT capabilities. When assessing a potential team, be sure to ask about their proficiency in technologies crucial to the development of a successful IoT app, including:
A proficient team should showcase a deep understanding of the intricacies of the IoT ecosystem, as demonstrated through their proficiency in working with platforms like AWS IoT or Azure IoT.
Security is paramount in IoT. Given the interconnected nature of devices and the sensitive data involved, inquiring about the security measured implemented by prospective companies is of the utmost importance. Look for a development company with experience in implementing:
Scalability is a crucial consideration, especially as IoT applications grow. A reputable development team should have experience in building scalable solutions that can handle an increasing number of connected devices and data points. Determining a companies proficiency in building scalable solutions includes discussing their strategies for managing data influx and ensuring the smooth expansion of the application's capabilities.
Connectivity and integration capabilities are vital for handling diverse IoT device ecosystems seamlessly, so be sure to assess the company's experience in integrating different types of devices and ensuring compatibility with various communication protocols. For instance, a company with expertise in connecting IoT devices through both Wi-Fi and cellular networks demonstrates versatility in connectivity solutions.
Edge computing is often pivotal in IoT applications, enabling efficient data processing at the edge, rather than the cloud, to reduce latency. Inquire about the team's competency in edge computing and examples of how they have optimized data processing in previous IoT projects, and how it has enhanced the overall performance of the applications they've developed.
Regulatory compliance is crucial, considering the evolving landscape of IoT regulations. Ensure that the development team is well-versed in IoT-related regulations and can navigate data protection and privacy laws. A company that can provide examples of how they ensured compliance in past projects likely has the ability to navigate regulatory complexities.
In the competitive IoT landscape, a user-centric design is paramount. Today’s consumers don’t want to learn how to use a new system, and they don’t want something that “just works” - instead, they want a product that feels good to use, is easy to navigate, and that helps solves a real problem for them.
Great design does that by aligning the app experience with the user’s expectations, providing a convenient and pleasurable interaction for the user.
Putting your users front and center when building your app helps to ensure it will attract and retain users - so it’s absolutely critical that you seek out a team that makes UX Design a top priority.
When discussing your project with potential development teams, be sure to ask them about the role UX design plays in their process, and ask them to outline exactly how that process works.
The development team you decide to work with should have experience working with technologies and building apps that are similar in nature to the one you’re trying to launch.
Most app development agencies will include examples of their work, or project case studies, on their website - take the time to look through these to help you determine if they might be a good fit for you. You should also ask for examples of work the company has completed that they feel is similar to the work you’d like done.
Many times developers have more experience than what is in their public portfolio because in our industry a lot of work gets done under NDAs.
Make sure to ask the teams you are thinking of working with for references. While examples of work can be good indicators of what the team is capable of creating, speaking to past clients will give you an idea of what it’s like to actually work with the team. Did they meet deadlines? Deliver what they promised? Did they communicate well? How did they handle changes?
When researching IoT development companies, the lower costs offered by offshore teams can make them seem like an obvious choice - but while lower prices are always tempting, we recommend considering the following before signing with a low cost option:
UX and Development QualityTo ensure it provides the user with a useful, convenient and pleasurable experience an app requires significant time and expertise spent on it’s design. We’ve often seen cheap builds result in visual designs that are merely plastered on top of off-the-shelf engineering components.
We get a lot of “fix-it” requests where we have to recommend complete rewrites because the proper planning wasn’t done up front.
Time Zone Differences
Working with a team located in an area with a significant time zone difference can be tricky. Because your team will likely be sleeping during your work day, urgent issues that arise generally won’t be addressed as quickly as necessary - and regular meetings will often be held at odd hours.
Great communication is central to any development project but especially so in the early conceptual stages. It’s absolutely crucial that the team developing your app is crystal clear on what you need created - significant amounts of time and money can be lost through simple miscommunication.
We get dozens of inquiries from companies asking us to offshore work to them. We’ve opted to keep everything domestically based because for the work we do it’s incredibly important for that communication to be seamless.
Offshore IoT application development teams can be great once the project architecture is well established or if you are testing a concept, need something cheap, and are willing to potentially restart after you’ve gotten user validation or secured funding.
Assuming your team builds you a successful IoT product, there will inevitably be more development opportunities that arise from its success. Your product will need to be maintained and supported as users inevitably find weird ways to break it and software versions continue to be released.
Additionally, as with any successful product, your users or customers will provide you with great insights and feedback after launch that you want to incorporate into your product - and you’ll probably have a business plan that involves adding on to your app after it’s initial success.
These are all really good things. However, problems arise when you don’t have an upfront understanding of how your relationship with your development team will evolve after a successful launch.
When speaking with potential teams make sure to have them articulate how they handle ongoing relationships. A good firm will be upfront and detailed about how they handle successful product rollouts because they will have seen it before.
A good team should also be able to tell you what will happen if and when there comes a time that you no longer need their services. Rather than trying to lock you in, they should provide you with a clear outline of what will happen in that scenario.
Too often we’ve seen hostage-like situations develop when a client is trying to get source code access from an MIA former developer.
Embarking on the journey to find the right IoT application development company may require considerable effort. However, this diligent work is rewarded by the outcomes of partnering with a skilled team, foremost of which is the creation of an app that resonates with and captivates your users
If you're looking for an experienced IoT application development company, or if you have any questions about a project you're currently working on, we'd love to chat! Feel free to send us a message here. And, if you're interested in learning more about the process of creating an IoT app, be sure to check out all our free IoT Software Development resources including "Unlocking Connectivity: The Ultimate Guide to IoT App Development"
For over 12 years Yeti has been the go-to IoT application development company for teams in need of exceptional IoT software. Learn more about our time-tested design and development process, and how it allows us to build apps that users love.
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