Unavailability and inaccuracy in the testing environment of an IoT network can result in incorrect assessment results. However, these risks of IoT can be mitigated by carefully developing the simulation models.
Risks surrounding IoT solutions, if not taken care of, can result in a huge dive in market share thanks to bad reviews by irate customers, especially if you’re playing in the B2C segment. Given below are some of the common risks associated with such networks and the ways to mitigate them.
Risks of IoT networks
Unavailability or inaccessibility of the devices, especially the endpoints used to collect data for the network, inaccurate approximation of simulation scenarios and device contracts, and diversity in the structure and working on the endpoints pose significant risks to IoT systems.
1. Gaining access to real devices
IoT solutions are a collaboration of various devices and components operating in sync with each other. For smaller systems like home automation, the devices can be simulated virtually on software and tested. However, for larger projects like monitoring the water level in a dam, the simulation might not be the exact replica of the original device. In such cases, the errors in the simulation of the components can affect the testing.
2. Simulating real-time scenarios for testing
Some automation systems employing IoT are built to monitor temperatures in nuclear reactors or high-level applications which involve a high risk in running the network solely but are also challenging to replicate just for testing purposes. Misjudgments in simulations may lead to inaccurate testing results that can affect the real-time implementation of the network.
3. Understanding device contracts of every component
IoT testing is carried out in simulated environments where each element of the network is created virtually. While hardware can be replicated online, it is the software, especially the communication protocols that are hard to simulate. This renders the simulation inaccurate in terms of the communication layers, which in turn affect the testing results.
Mitigating the risks of IoT testing
- Device contracts must be analyzed. The user interface, the internal framework, and the device’s interaction with the hub must be studied to program an almost exact simulation of the device.
- There’s no option to this risk other than building a flexible network that takes into consideration the possible problems that might arise in such a situation. The contracts and the environmental conditions must be studied and analyzed finely to simulate the experiment as close to the real-life implementation.
- For devices with a complex structure of communication protocols, testing should be tried on real components, if available. If they aren’t, the simulation must be modeled accordingly, leaving room for exceptions and unusual cases a device faces while communicating with the central hub.
No matter how carefully we build an actual, physical network online, it will always be an approximation of the real system. But what we can try is to develop virtual solutions with low chances of risks. Fine-tuning the device configurations and paying attention to exceptions in a software build can help achieve measures which will lessen the risk factor associated with complex IoT solutions.