How Big Data and IoT are transforming app development

As workplace apps increasingly become a critical part of employee experience strategies, how can business leaders leverage Big Data and IoT to create apps that employees want to use?

There’s a lot of conceptual discourse around the Internet of Things (IoT). For a long time, the industry talked a lot about what IoT could be. Now we’re in the digital revolution we waited for and IoT is here to stay and making a major impact.

Between the rise of big data and IoT, nearly every market and industry in the world is seeing some sort of change. That goes for app development too. The new technologies at our disposal are transforming the way we make, develop and conceptualise applications for web and mobile devices.

The most meaningful apps in the next five years will be those that embrace Big Data and IoT. To make the most of these resources, it is important to understand what Big Data and IoT are and how they can relate to the app development world.

Pieces of digital transformation

When it comes to IoT and Big Data, they’re both pieces of the larger digital transformation taking place in the working world. The Internet of Things is a bit hard to pinpoint for newcomers. In the simplest terms, the Internet of Things is the interactions that take place over the internet that don’t require human input. These interactions are possible by giving our technology the ability to connect to data and use information on its own. Think of it as automating technology’s ability to use itself.

Many of the common IoT apps today control some of the more menial parts of our day. Something as simple as scheduling our home’s smart lights to turn on at a certain point in the day might seem like a small task but is actually quite handy. This isn’t just a fun way to incorporate more tech into our lives. Senior business leaders should think of IoT as a means to harness a more effective application for their organisation. That’s where Big Data comes in.

‘Senior business leaders should think of IoT as a means to harness a more effective application for their organisations…’

Big Data allows us to measure IoT processes with analytics. As anyone involved in analytics can tell us, data tells us things that we can’t often find anywhere else. In the app world, this is particularly true. Data tell us when a user is on the app, what they’re doing, and how often they’re returning. This can be a huge help in identifying how employees using organisational apps might be able to take advantage of development trends to make work easier and more efficient.

Development trends

The app marketplace isn’t going anywhere. In fact, the app marketplace is expected to grow over $650 billion in the next five years. One of the major projects leading the latest charge of development investments is IoT apps. These projects aim to combine all of the impactful technologies possible with smarter, independently programmed apps. The IoT enlists the help of device and network adaptations that take full control of the cloud and Big Data to build smarter apps built for users’ ultimate experience.

The new approach to app development is changing the way developers and organisations think about apps. At the moment, most apps are still used for human-based operations. With Big Data analytics driving what we know about user interactions within apps, we can harness IoT to create device-to-device connectivity that handles much of the work for us.

When we look at mobile and web applications, functionality within IoT and Big Data work like a teacher for the app. As people use the app and establish patterns and preferences of activity, the app can learn more about what it can do to help the user. Likewise, apps rarely ever exist on one device anymore. With that in mind, we can use Big Data to help apps work more fluently across all devices, such as computers, phones, smartwatches, or external devices that rely on app connectivity.

When it comes to investing in the IoT and Big Data for app development, developers truly have so many fruitful tools at their disposal. When we look to build new apps in 2021 and beyond, it’ll benefit everyone, users and businesses alike, to keep IoT and Big Data in the mix from pre-development brainstorming to post-launch updates.

What’s next?

Many developers who have yet to dive head-first into digital transformation are still getting a grasp on this new approach to development. Even those with experience in IoT are finding that the approach offers little in terms of boundaries or uses of the learned technology.

While that might seem like Big Data and IoT are still developing into useful tools for app development, there’s no doubt that both are here to stay in the programming world. As workplaces begin to pivot more towards the implementation of apps in the workplace on mobile devices, IoT and Big Data will certainly impact the way these applications help increase productivity and improve the day-to-day experience of all involved.

Chloe Kirby is a writer and digital marketing professional. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and her Master’s Degree at Goldsmiths University in London, England. Chloe has professional experience in e-commerce, digital marketing, and copywriting.
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