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IoT without DevOps – at your own peril

The Internet of Things (IoT) is taking over the IT industry and is becoming a critical component of strategies in this and other industries. According to Wikipedia, in 2013 the Global Standards Initiative on Internet of Things (IoT-GSI), defined IoT as “a global infrastructure for the information society, enabling advanced services by interconnecting (physical and virtual) things based on existing and evolving interoperable information and communication technologies”. This means connecting smart devices and changing how we deal with hardware, software and connectivity.
DevOps, we know, emphasizes on the collaboration of the engineering and operation teams to ensure that creating, testing and deployment can happen more rapidly while ensuring quality. Agile methodology is key, where different stakeholders work cross-functionally to ensure the best possible results in the least amount of time. Continuous development (CD) and continuous implementation (CI) is important and for IoT to function seamlessly, this CD and CI is the edge it requires to be functional in a fluid world.
DevOps is often considered the most important element of business driven by IoT. Building scalable and automated infrastructure are just some of the things that DevOps brings to the industry. This invariably grows the business and makes development more sustainable, efficient and fast. Therefore, if you decide to adapt to IoT without considering DevOps you will lag behind in the evolution and change we are witnessing in the digital world. To reinforce why we think that DevOps and IoT are integral to your business are:

Evolution

As IoT gains popularity, DevOps is an important piece of the puzzle that helps you keep abreast of the changes in agile development that the IT world is moving towards. Also, now, software is taking precedence over the actual device it runs on. Meaning the software is often looked as the differentiator when a consumer is looking at a product, making the integration of IoT and DevOps vital.

Continuity

Users are often spoilt for choice today; if your product does not provide speedy resolution to his problem or it takes time to effect change, users easily switch to another solution provided by a competitor. In this scenario, IoT combined with DevOps works brilliantly as it provides a platform of continuous integration and continuous development. Cross-functional teams are adapting to this combination as it focuses on continuous development.

Connectivity

It is true that almost all appliances today are turning to the internet for connectivity. This means deployment of updates and faster release cycles are being adapted by the industry. The cloud and internet is expediting the adoption of new technology without requiring mechanical changes to the products, while updating just the software.

Business growth

IoT with DevOps is bringing forward new business models and revenue generating opportunities. The world is moving towards software-defined solutions, and these are easier to generate and update using cloud and the internet. Businesses are able to use software to sell newer services, thereby increasing business growth and revenue generation. This moves away from the traditional model of one time sales.

Productivity

There is a constant churn in development in a product or service, instant delivery and more; with the combination of DevOps and IoT, SDLC is shrinking and getting more efficient. This means the overall productivity of the system and engineers in particular, is increasing. Effective collaboration between the teams is also ensuring that the quality of the product is not compromised, while ensuring deliveries are faster and more effective.

Cost-efficiency

Given that IoT practically connects everything, integration and deployment is much easier. With most changes being software-based and implementable through the cloud, deployment too is made easy; while DevOps ensures easier Turn Around Time (TAT) on the upgrade with automation. This ease of deployment and TAT naturally impacts cost which is greatly reduced due to optimal use of resources.

Security

With IoT connecting many devices, security threat is a very huge concern. The old methodology of testing for security in the end won’t fly as it is now a significant component that needs attention. This is where DevOps helps greatly. DevOps ensures that security is part of the software development life cycle; like feature enhancement or performance.

In Conclusion

Firstly, change is never easy, and this requires a change in how the organization functions; especially if seamless integration between the teams is absent or minimum. Therefore to adopt to a blend of two strong concepts of IoT and DevOps would require more than a functional change at a departmental level, it would require a cultural change in the organization. It would necessitate a buy- in from the stakeholders within the system before it became the norm.
Secondly, IoT with DevOps also works better with software rather than with hardware; this means adaptability is a bigger challenge. Adapting to the changes in the software and fixing issues ad hoc could lead to fatigue and tedium. Though these obstacles exist, the IT industry is overcoming them with technology. IoT is here to stay. There is no doubt in our minds that IoT combined with DevOps is the future of technology. The smart thing to do would be to adopt quickly or pay the price of not understanding the significance of the same. The choice is ultimately yours.

Referenced in this article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things

Other references:

https://www.rtinsights.com/iot-and-devops-security-integration-deployment/

https://www.ca.com/us/rewrite/articles/devops/building-the-internet-of-things-with-agile-and-devops.html

https://techbeacon.com/devops-challenges-internet-things

http://www.networkcomputing.com/cloud-infrastructure/how-devops-enables-industrial-iot/2142975730

https://dzone.com/articles/devops-without-ops-is-it-possible

http://events.windriver.com/wrcd01/wrcm/2016/08/WP-devops-in-the-internet-of-things.pdf

https://devops.com/internet-of-things-challenges-devops/