How Low-Code Development Drives IoT Adoption

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by Alexis Leibbrandt

The global pandemic crisis from 2020 has shaken many industries around the world. While some fields have been more impacted than others, the sanitary crisis has served as a wake-up call for many decision-makers and has accelerated the digital transformation of entire industries.

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This has led to an increase in demand for IoT-based solutions. Typical examples include the need for remote control solutions for situations that previously required human interaction or solutions to improve the monitoring of indoor air quality.

This sudden sense of urgency when it comes to the digital transformation of products and processes is a positive sign toward a broad market application of IoT. However, this does not mean that the doors are now open for the massive adoption of smart solutions. Indeed, a major hindrance remains:

Launching an IoT project is a complex endeavor

Sadly, this is an observation that we make all too often. Typically, the successful implementation of an IoT solution requires the interconnection of a multitude of IoT components and technologies, before being able to generate the IoT data supporting the business case.

This is usually done by technical specialists with the expertise and IT knowledge required to navigate their way through the technical complexity. Such programmers, data scientists and engineers are responsible to connect the dots between the hardware, the connectivity layer and the cloud to transform the raw sensor data into formatted, usable IoT data for the final application.

However, the people with this technical knowledge are often not the ones with the domain knowledge. What this means is that the people with the actual expertise in the final use case tend to be disconnected from the application development process. This can lead to delays, high costs and other points of friction.

This is the reason why the IoT ecosystem has seen in recent years a shift towards low-code solutions. These solutions make it easier for innovation-, R&D- and operations teams to participate directly in the development process and dramatically accelerate the path from idea to proof of concept (PoC).

The low-code movement is not only present in the IoT sphere but is impacting the whole IT spectrum. Research from Gartner shows that "by 2024, low-code application development will be responsible for more than 65% of application development activity."

Benefits of low-code adoption for IoT

  • POC success rate: With the use of low-code, self-service IoT platforms, we have a chance to reduce the number of projects that end up in the proof of concept graveyard. Click to tweet!
    Many unsuccessful PoCs fail because of a mismatch between IT knowledge, budget and the technical complexity of the project. Low-code IoT tools can improve the success rate of such IoT projects.
  • Market fit: Reducing the distance between business and IT is a key element towards better business value creation and ultimately true market fit. The ability to include all business stakeholders in the development process can improve the transmission of domain knowledge and requirements for IoT data generation and interpretation.
  • Time to market: Obviously, the possibility to develop applications based on pre-existing modular components in a visual environment dramatically accelerates the introduction of IoT solutions. The path from idea to implementation has never been so small. This has a positive impact on development agility as well. Standardized components and development processes allow for an agile approach to the implementation of IoT use cases.
  • Cost: Last but not least, greater adoption of low-code development tools can significantly reduce costs. It is not difficult to envision how this is possible taking into account the previously mentioned benefits. Low-code tools reduce engineering efforts. Companies might for example hire fewer IT specialists and reduce their dependence on expensive consultancy firms. Moreover, as time-to-market improves, implementation costs will inversely decrease. Finally, low-code, modular architectures improve the introduction of new features and functionality in the IoT solution and reduce the total cost of ownership.

Key low-code features in IoT platforms

Data parsing of IoT device payload: Decoding raw sensor telemetry into structured data can be a tedious task without any type of automation. Data parsing typically requires a good dose of programming skills to make sense of the raw IoT data. With an automated data parser, this process is reduced to a couple of clicks. This is what our Device Type Library can offer. Device Types in akenza are modules that decode sensor data into a usable format and encode structured data into the sensor-specific format to be sent back to the sensor via a downlink message

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No-code data processing: Defining the whole data flow with pre-existing visual components is a great opportunity for IoT project leaders. With akenza’s no code Data Flow, you can easily define your data processing chain and connect your IoT data to different output connectors such as the Emails, SMS, webhook or simply the akenza database. Simply select your connectivity technology, pick a device type in the extensive Device Type Library and choose the output connector that better fits your use case.

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Rules and actions generation: Making sense of the data and triggering output actions based on the collected sensor data is what enables true value case creation. The implementation of business logic into the IoT project can be facilitated by low-code functionalities. With the Rule Engine of akenza, you can analyze and process data from multiple devices simultaneously and trigger actions when needed. Actions include sending SMS or email notifications, sending downlinks, or aggregating your data. All that with no coding skills required!

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The IoT evolution needs low-code functionalities

Early adopters in R&D and innovation departments need a solution to quickly and effortlessly create IoT use cases. By providing low-code features and self-service functionalities, we enable an agile IoT solution creation process, an absolute revolutionary step towards the broad market application of IoT.

Low-code will not solve all your IoT challenges but having a low-code stack will undoubtedly help you get the job done a lot faster, easier, and cheaper.