As a business owner, you may have great ideas on how to enhance your venture by implementing Internet of Things solutions. To embody your thoughts, you will need to decide if to hire in-house developers or find an offshore IoT company to outsource the development. In this article, we’ll share some tips on how to hire a team for IoT application development. You’ll learn what to look for and how to make the right choice. 

Why hire IoT developers

There are several reasons why you may want to hire IoT developers, be it in-house or outsource

  • You want to create an IoT-enabled environment to carry out some tasks 
  • Your business has issues that can be solved by IoT technology: for instance, automating some repetitive tasks to unload employees 
  • Your organization uses smart devices that should work together or be integrated into a single system 
  • You want to follow the latest trends and enhance your project with additional features 
GlobalData forecasts show that solutions for utilities and manufacturing dominate the market, with a total of 58% of the opportunity in 2018 and a slighter smaller 55% of the market in 2023. Energy and transportation are other major verticals, with a combined 15% of the market in both 2018 and 2023.

These are just some examples of how IoT can help your business. If you’ve already got your mind set on adopting IoT, contact us for more details and recommendations. 

Why prefer outsourcing over in-house development

As soon as you make up your mind on what you are expecting from IoT development, you will need to think about the path you want to take. You can either build the in-house team or hire an IoT development company.

Entrusting your project to third party vendors, especially from other countries, might scare you, at first. However, there are significant benefits you get when choosing the right IoT development company. At the time of the COVID crisis, when most companies work remotely, outsourcing an IoT development team seems the most relevant option to choose. Here’s what you get by hiring an IoT development company.

Faster team setup

An offshore company has access to a larger pool of developers. The IoT development companies usually have a “bench”: employees who have no assigned tasks at the moment. Usually, the company engages developers from the bench in the new projects so that the team can start working earlier.

Besides, each IoT development company has its recruitment department who will find the missing staff required for your project. Anyway, your IoT partner takes the responsibility for setting up the team to start the work as soon as possible. 

Experienced team

A reliable IoT development company guarantees that it has the required expertise in the domain. The company’s experience should be backed up by their portfolio. Checking out the Clutch reviews would be a good idea. You may want to think about hiring IoT developers from Ukraine or Eastern Europe. These countries offer high-quality services at an affordable price. Unlike the outsourced company, the in-house developers will need some time to get used to working with each other. With an offshore, you get a weathered team, ready to work at once.

Lower costs

Hiring an IoT development company gives you more opportunities at a lower price. Here’s what an offshore IoT development company offers.

  • Recruitment. You don’t need to pay recruiters to find the required staff. Your IoT development provider will take care of it. 
  • Workspace. Your IoT partner provides the staff with a place to work. You don’t need to pay the rent. 
  • Equipment. The firm provides employees with all required hardware and software. 
  • Rates. You can pick an IoT partner with a rate per hour acceptable for you. It’s not really recommended to go for the cheapest solution. However, choosing a good provider will still be more cost-effective than paying the in-house team.

4 criteria for choosing IoT development company

As a business owner, you may be interested in some hints on picking an IoT partner. Here’s what to consider when making a choice.

Experience & expertise

Your perfect candidate will need to possess robust experience in your domain. If you need to create any hardware element, make sure the company can do that. Ask your future partner if they have worked with the required technologies for software, firmware, and hardware.

Make sure the company has in its portfolio cases, similar to the one you need. Сhecking out the Clutch reviews will give you an insight into the cooperation with other businesses. If possible, getting feedback from other company’s clients would be nice as well. 

Flexibility

Your IoT development offshore company should offer:

  • Wide range of technologies 

Depending on the project, you may need developers specialized in certain technologies. The C and C++ languages are typically used for embedded programming or firmware development, while Python is the most popular language for IoT back-end development.

Regarding the protocols, we should mention these: MQTT, ZeroMQ, NFC, UART, Modbus, D-Bus, SSL, Thread Network Protocol.

Make sure your IoT development company has experience with hardware platforms: Raspberry Pi, Banana Pi, BeagleBone Black, NXP i.MX6ULL based boards, various custom ARM boards.

Also, your IoT developers should have experience with these operating systems: Linux, Yocto Linux, FreeRTOS, and the following frameworks: MongooseOS, ESP-IDF, Qt.

  • Additional resources

If the project needs additional engineers, the IoT development company should be able to provide them. The company’s recruiters have to find the missing staff to continue the work on your project. The partner should also take care of the workplace, equipment, and adaptation program for the new employees. 

  • Flexible cooperation models

Picking an IoT partner, you will need to agree to a cooperation model. The company may offer you a few pricing models: fixed price, time and material, dedicated team, outstaffing, and mixed models. If you aren’t sure what model is right for you, check out our guide

Communication

Staying on the same page with your IoT partner is crucial, so be sure you follow the same communication pattern. Here’s what you will need to check to ensure effective communication. 

  • Project manager (PM)

PM is in charge of discussing the project details with the client, reporting progress, resolving issues, managing the workload, and more. PM is a mediator between the client and the developers. The communication skills of the project manager will influence the outcome of the project, so working with a professional will be more comfortable and efficient. 

  • English level of the PM 

The project manager, or another person you are going to communicate with, should be good at English, both oral and written. This is the cornerstone of effective communication. If you cannot understand each other, you would barely be able to work together. 

  • Time zone

Another important aspect while picking an IoT partner is the time zone. Choose a country with the biggest overlap in working time. This way, the work would be more convenient for both of you. Alternatively, you can adjust your schedules: start working earlier or later to increase the overlap. 

  • Communication tools

Another thing that is worth mentioning is the means of communication and project management tools. You may prefer email, Slack, Skype, Google Meet, or another tool. If you like, you can also track the progress of the project in Jira, Trello, Asana, or other platforms. Discuss the communication and reporting details with the project manager. 

Security

Security is one of the primary concerns of any business owner that thinks about picking an IoT partner. Top IoT development companies realize how important it is, so they will most likely brief you on how they protect the sensitive data they process and secure the system in general. A secure system at the very least should include OTA updates, backups, and encryption. It won’t hurt if you double-check the vital security aspects before starting the partnership. 

Why does IoT security matter

IoT devices are among the most vulnerable ones. That’s why it’s particularly important that your future IoT development company knows how to create a safe environment for your IoT project. Depending on the types of smart devices, developers need to choose the appropriate security standards to ensure the required level of protection. 

For example, C++ is a fast and flexible programming language for IoT projects, but it’s not the safest one. To additionally protect the transferred data, it’s possible to implement SSL or TLS encryption.

Of course, designing protection requires more time and investment. However, by neglecting the security aspect of your product, you may jeopardize the end user’s safety. That’s hardly what you aim for by creating a product. Failure to create safe software and firmware, failure to protect data will affect the success of the whole IoT system.

That’s why it’s important to find a reliable IoT partner who follows the security by design approach. This means that developers map out the security system on the stage of planning and provision, leaving nothing to chance.

Conclusions.

At the time of the COVID crisis, picking an IoT partner instead of assembling the in-house team is a wise decision. You save money and time by entrusting the IoT development to the experts. While choosing the right IoT development company, pay attention to its portfolio and expertise, communication, and flexible approach to work — the key aspects of successful cooperation. Hiring IoT developers from Ukraine or Eastern Europe will give you one of the best value for money. If you’d like to learn more, feel free to contact us.