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  • The role of engineers in IOT

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    Tim Kannegieter

    Introduction: Engineers have a collective responsibility to get the IOT right. That includes how they communicate with stakeholders, particularly the accountants. We need to educate them why it's far more than just a bunch of sensors connected over 3G to the cloud, or doing big data and data analytics. There's just so much more to it than that.

    IOT is both a threat and an opportunity to engineers, particularly in Australia. If it's implemented in a way that really demonstrates great benefits and the value add of engineering, it's a huge opportunity for engineers to do what they love and make a real difference. If IOT is implemented badly, we may see big foreign corporations dominating the field and impose their systems. 

    The key challenge is that engineers in western economies have been focusing on lean innovation, creating lower volume but higher value products. The IOT is turning that on its head with a huge number of devices. In terms of development, there is not enough money to custom develop every single thing. The R&D costs with that would be prohibitive. Engineering for the IOT has to allow for fast design and deployment.

    To enable this engineers have to reuse, favouring configuration over software development. Software development is focused on platforms that are configurable in the field. In other words, the goal of IOT development, like most software development paradigms, is to encapsulate and to allow a simple drag and drop type of configuration.

    Engineers also need to help organisations get it right in terms of productivity orientation. There are a lot of the developments in IOT and we are definitely in very steep transition with the expected learning curves However, as the industry matures, engineers will be expected to deliver productive systems very quickly with great efficiency.

    Edited by Tim Kannegieter

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