From smart TVs to connected doorbells, IoT is a massive and fast-growing market. For many customers, however, it has also become a confusing onslaught of technology. They are bombarded with proprietary IoT products promoted as “DIY,” leading them to believe they are easy to install and maintain. Often, this isn’t the case. Smartphones quickly become choked with apps, while devices that are supposed to work together don’t. If they do, the integration is often awkward or difficult to understand. The result is a highly disappointing user experience.
Integrators are perfectly positioned to bring order to the chaos, relying on their expertise to bring together a range of diverse devices and make the complex IoT tapestry simple to understand and operate. The market, however, isn’t without its challenges for professionals either. With that in mind, here are six criteria that must be met when designing control for IoT:
- Simplicity — With the right control tools, the clutter of distinct apps can be reduced into one easy-to-use, customized interface for each unique customer.
- Scalability — Every control system must be able to handle any number of devices and expand over time to meet the customer’s changing needs.
- Reliability — In any system, problems will arise from time to time. Remote monitoring, great warranties and replacement policies, and fast, responsive service are vital to the customer experience.
- Longevity — A control system should be designed for the long haul, with an eye on backwards compatibility to ensure that new devices can be integrated with legacy ones.
- Smarts —There is no “right” interface that meets the needs of every application. Customers need interface options, located where they make sense.
- Affordability — No budget is unlimited, so it’s important to offer customers bundles and a range of products to meet a variety of price points.
For integrators, there are many factors to take into account when selecting a control manufacturer to help them meet these criteria. A wide product range and excellent marketing, training, and service support are a given. One aspect that is often overlooked is the programming software. It should be intuitive, designed to take the labor out of the programming process, and allow for complete customization. Along those lines, a broad offering of drivers is key to seamless integration. Better still, the availability of an SDK will allow for the creation of drivers to meet almost any need.
Once a system is installed, the ability to receive real-time notification of issues is critical.
Instead of requiring integrators to buy a separate monitoring product, some manufacturers offer remote monitoring baked into their processors. Beyond lowering costs, these provide the advantage of allowing integrators to not only monitor the processor, but any device connected to it.
By selecting the right manufacturer and taking advantage of control tools designed to bring together a range of technologies into one unified system, the IoT world offers new and exciting opportunities for integrators.
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