It’s no surprise that Gartner has estimated that by 2020, there will be seven billion connected business devices in existence. Companies are investing vast sums in IoT, but the question remains, how many of these devices are actually useful and deliver value?
From the connected coffee machine that will tell you when you’re nearly out of pods, to the intuitive egg tray designed to deliver the earth-shattering news that the dreaded sell by date is one-day closer, there is countless ‘Internet of Useless things’ devices out there we can probably live without.
What’s worse is that there is real potential for organizations to spend millions on IoT projects without clear business objectives, and without strategic testing plans in place to ensure that these devices safely deliver as intended.
Technology to provide tangible real-life benefits
Klas Bendrik, SVP & CIO at Volvo Car Group, has got it right. On embracing IoT, he referred to creating more efficient and safer cars, as well as helping people’s journeys: “We take the best available technology and make it work in the most useful way for our customers. It’s about using technology to provide tangible real-life benefits, rather than providing technology just for the sake of it.”
It’s a great point, and other companies would do well to try and deliver on this type of approach focused on real value. It also highlights that performance and availability of connected devices will absolutely become important differentiators when it comes to an ever more competitive and crowded marketplace.
When in doubt, test again
Simply put, companies invested in IoT have to put the time into strategic monitoring and testing to guarantee continuous performance that will actually add tangible business value, and to stand up to the test of time and popularity.
Connected IoT devices have a high level of dependency on the speed of communication, which can open them up to issues such as slow internet connection or unreliable network hardware. So in this sense, it’s critical to test IoT devices to ensure that they’re not failing to respond or losing data.
Key to the customer experience is proactively monitoring your websites and applications, not to mention APIs, 24/7 is always going to be key to providing a good customer experience – doing this intermittently is just not an option. It means that you can be fixing any issues before they escalate and before customers ‘hit a wall’ in their user experience and start complaining about availability or performance issues.
Time is always of the essence in these instances because key performance indicators like page load time are intrinsically lined to loss of visitors. If you test people’s patience with slow load times or other performance issues, you really do risk losing trade.
When it comes to IoT, cyber-crime and data privacy are other issues that should be considered. Who wants to get hacked by the egg tray or the not-so-conscientious coffee machine? Testing needs to push applications in all areas of performance, including security.
Within the year, the IoT market will likely be more than double the size of the smartphone, PC, tablet, connected car, and the wearable market combined. By then, let’s hope that there is a growing trend for IoT for business value, and not just IoT’s sake, and that companies recognize the need for proper testing to deliver a safe, reliable IoT user experience.