According to results from Embarcadero’s Software for the Internet of Things Developer Survey, 2015 will be a big year for developing business solutions with integrated "Things"—such as industrial sensors, health monitors and smart buildings—to connect with existing and new business solutions.
The survey found that 84 percent of software developers building IoT solutions in 2015 are targeting business markets, while 16 percent are exclusively targeting consumers.
The Embarcadero survey, conducted by Dimensional Research, showed that 77 percent of development teams will have IoT solutions in active development in 2015 with almost half (49 percent) of IoT developers anticipating their solutions will generate business impact by the end of 2015, compared to only 12 percent in 2014. The survey also showed that 50 percent of developers ranked customer demand among the top drivers for "Things" solution development in 2015.
"These survey results confirm that IoT is crossing over from consumer gadgets to business productivity and customer engagement," said Michael Swindell, senior vice president of products at Embarcadero, in a statement. "In the consumer space, individuals connect to IoT typically through a single personal mobile device, with the IoT experience encircling the user. However with business solutions IoT includes users and encircles the business and enterprise assets. The IoT connected applications developers build for the Enterprise are essential to connect the disparate parts of a distributed IoT business solution – from mobile devices, to wearables and sensors, to cloud and on-premises Enterprise back-ends. Software developers will clearly play a pivotal role in driving IoT innovation and business adoption in 2015 and beyond."
Moreover, the results from the Software for IoT Developer Survey show that software and applications will be critical in IoT solution development in 2015, as developers plan to interconnect "Things" with multiple systems—including mobile apps, desktop apps, databases, cloud services, enterprise applications, middleware and other IoT devices.
Indeed, the survey indicates that developers expect 71 percent of "Things" data will move between devices and servers, 72 percent of "Things" will communicate using multiple technologies, and 49 percent of "Things" will connect to cloud services. Also, Android and Windows Desktop will be the top operating systems connected to by "Things", according to the survey.
Meanwhile, the Embarcadero survey revealed that three out of four developers (76 percent) said they think differently about the user experience—including input and output—when developing IoT solutions versus traditional software. While more than half of "Things" (56 percent) are expected to use traditional input (e.g., keyboard, button press) in 2015, "Thing" solutions are moving closer to the vision of "Things", which does away with traditional touch, Embarcadero said.
According to the survey, developers say 97 percent of "Things" will accept non-traditional input (sensors, GPS, line of site, etc.) and 37 percent of "Things" will present information in non-traditional ways (virtual reality, haptic, audible, environmental change, etc.).
For the purposes of the survey, Embarcadero defined IoT as the network of "Things" that contain interconnection technology—Wi-Fi/Internet, Bluetooth—to communicate with other devices, applications, middleware and online services. The goal of the survey was to understand trends with new types of "Things"—excluding laptops, smartphones and tablets.
After agreeing to a specific definition of "Thing" and "Thing solution", 1,040 qualified participants answered questions about the status of their IoT development efforts, technologies used and impact on developers. The survey was fielded in English, German and Japanese. All participants had responsibility for software development of an IoT solution and they represented a wide range of geographies, company sizes and vertical industries.