IoT, or the Internet of Things, is becoming the next big thing in the world of technology. You will likely use IoT in some form if you operate modern vehicles, household appliances, or entertainment devices.
In 2020, there were 9.7 billion IoT-connected devices in the world. But what’s even more impressive is the forecast that there will be 29 billion IoT-connected devices worldwide by 2030.
Electronics companies are now gearing up to produce IoT-enabled devices with the larger picture in mind. However, they also face challenges in the process. The most significant among them are:
1. Availability of experts in their geographical proximity
2. The cost of hiring in-house experts
3. The cost of setting up large-scale manufacturing plants
4. Not being able to keep up with the demand
Outsourcing is the most viable answer we have at the moment to address these challenges. Outsourced manufacturing has numerous advantages. But some technical considerations must be made when outsourcing IoT application development to a contract manufacturer.
This guide will discuss the technical factors you must consider when relying on an outsourced manufacturer for your IoT application development.
Outsourcing vs. Extended Team Hiring
Businesses outsource processes due to any of the following reasons:
1. They lack the funds
2. They lack the expertise
3. They want to test a new product’s market validation without going all in on it
4. They lack the managerial prowess to handle large-scale manufacturing
The second and fourth can be mitigated by hiring an extended team. Extended teams can fulfil specific technical expertise gaps and work alongside the internal team as contractors. Their role becomes important when you need a middle ground between full-time hiring and outsourcing.
Hiring an extended team is the right decision when you know where you lack resources, skills, and expertise. In any other scenario, outsourcing is generally more cost-effective and efficient.
6 Things to Consider When Outsourcing Your IoT Application Development
Let’s consider the primary factors when choosing an outsourced manufacturer for IoT application development.
1. Technical Expertise
Cost and expertise are the two major driving forces behind hiring an outsourced manufacturer. When outsourcing IoT application development, you should be sure about the technical expertise of the contract manufacturer’s team. It’s the first and most important thing to consider before signing the contract.
You can schedule online meetings with the team to gauge their expertise. Alternatively, you can ask for case studies and testimonials from your contract manufacturer. Beyond that, you must research and know everything about your contractor before handing over the contract. Don’t outsource your IoT application development unless you have complete trust in the team.
2. UI/UX Expertise
User experience and user interface are essential for the success of any IoT product. When looking for a contract manufacturer for your IoT application development, discuss their UI/UX expertise. Look at their past projects to get an idea and add your input to make the user experience and interface top-notch.
UI/UX has design and aesthetic elements that many contract manufacturers may overlook. Make sure you choose a contractor who emphasises the importance of UI/UX for IoT application development.
3. Research and Product/Market Fit
The research process for a new IoT application idea is time-consuming. The first part of the process is researching the technical gaps that will make your product novel and useful. While it is arguably the most important step in the process, your idea or product won’t sell unless there’s a demand for it in the market.
Many contract manufacturers offer both product R&D and market research services. While many companies choose to do market research themselves, the benefits of outsourcing are tangible when you don’t have significant expertise. When choosing a third-party contract manufacturer, ensure they handle R&D and product market research.
4. Outsource Security Responsibilities
Data privacy and security are the two biggest concerns for end users of IoT-enabled devices. Many IoT devices operate on voice commands, which creates an additional layer of security concerns for end users.
Many IoT companies are going for third-party cybersecurity providers to combat this problem. Sometimes, you may have to choose a separate application developer and cybersecurity provider. But if a contractor provides both, it could greatly benefit you.
An outsourced manufacturer is cheaper than in-house manufacturing. But what if it isn’t working out for you? Don’t settle for a contract manufacturer without researching how much you are paying them and why.
Contract manufacturing costs vary from country to country and sector to sector. A more extensive search can often introduce you to contract manufacturers who offer cost-efficient deals with impressive performance and turnaround time.
6. Process Outsourcing Vs. Component Outsourcing
This is a burning question for tech companies. The answer depends on several variables. For example, if cloud support or cybersecurity are your only concerns, you can outsource them while going forward with in-house application development. However, that doesn’t add to the value of the cost-efficiency of outsourced manufacturing in most cases.
On the other hand, outsourcing the entire process provides all the benefits of contract manufacturing but gives one less control over the minute processes. The choice boils down to your specific requirements and which option makes more sense for your business.
Build Your IoT Applications with Oakter
We hope this guide helps you make informed decisions while choosing a contract manufacturer for your IoT application development. If you still have questions, Oakter is here to help.
Oakter is India’s leading contract manufacturer for electronic companies. We provide end-to-end IoT application development services with unmatched performance and cost efficiency. Get in touch with our team to learn more about our services. Check out our blog for more resources on outsourced manufacturers and IoT application development.