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Future-proofing your smart home platform: building for scalability and long-term relevance

Future-proofing your smart home platform: building for scalability and long-term relevance

The smart home space is growing and changing rapidly. Producing hardware and software products for use as smart home components brings a great deal of potential, but also comes with challenges. To stay relevant, your solutions will need to keep up with the market.

As of now, smart home platforms cover applications including:

When developing smart home applications, you must balance the need for present-day functionality with the capacity for future growth. You'll also need to incorporate the ability to continuously adapt and deal with new product integrations. Building such a future-proof smart home platform means focusing on scalability and planning for software evolution.

Key pillars of a future-ready software

While building scalability and flexibility into smart device platforms adds extra complications to the development process, it remains an important priority. Any solution without these traits may quickly become outdated, losing whatever foothold it has claimed in the overall smart home space.

Some of the key objectives driving future-proof smart home platform development in the space include:

Focusing on a few specific design areas will help your team concentrate its efforts on creating technology that will grow along with the smart home industry. These include scalability in architecture, proactive security design and continuous updates.

Scalable architecture

Architecture that will grow naturally over time provides a solid foundation for your smart home platform. In such a fast-moving space, this flexibility is what allows a specific piece of technology to remain relevant. It also gives users confidence that the platform is a good long-term investment.

Individual components of scalable software include:

Proactive security design

Building trust with consumers may come down to your smart home security approach. Smart home systems and their devices are attractive targets of opportunity for digital attackers.

Security questions go beyond protecting each individual device in a network. Protocols such as Matter raise the issue of defending devices from intrusions when they're collectively connected to the internet, rather than just sharing data with one another.

Some of the valuable practices you can put into place from a security perspective include:

A continuous update strategy

Your approach to software development should lean away from the concept of a one-and-done release. Rather, the platform should be designed to accommodate continuous updates from the ground up. This means having a well-oiled process in place to roll out these updates.

Priorities for continuous updates include being use-centric with the way you publish updates. If these are too frequent, the disruption they cause could become a source of frustration for your users, having a chilling effect on their engagement and satisfaction.

Updates should be meaningful, delivering tangible value. It's important to include clear patch notes, so people know why the change was made and what new features they can access.

The culture within your organization is best when it revolves around continuous improvement principles. This means incorporating user feedback into your plans, collaborating internally and externally and adapting continually to market conditions and needs.

Balancing innovation and sustained value

Creating a smart home platform that seems perfect under laboratory conditions is not the real objective of development. You need to craft a product that will drive a positive user response, capturing and keeping a strong audience.

This comes down to a key concept: Ensuring your release strategy incorporates best practices while not alienating your audience or creating resistance. The issue may be most noticeable around subscription models.

Making a pitch for subscriptions

A subscription to provide new updates is a way to drive sustained income from your product while also delivering continuous new advantages to your users. There's a catch, however: Consumers often fail to see the value of updates. They would rather not deal with new releases, which in turn forces technology providers into continuing support for previous versions of their systems.

How can you break the deadlock and encourage the use of subscription models? While the benefits of updates — bug fixes, new features, expanded compatibility — can seem clear to you internally, communicating this information with your audience demands special effort.

Building an ideal communication strategy around continuous updates works best when:

For a full overview of the principles behind update planning and execution, you can read more in our blog.

Most importantly, your platform should bring real value to users. This informed Transcenda's approach to working with smart home automation provider Savant, which wanted to redesign its Cync application. The engagement included application stabilization, as well as the addition of new features and devices to the ecosystem. The new version of the application proved popular with audiences, increasing its rating in application stores from two stars to more than four.

How can Transcenda help with your smart home project?

Smart home application development is best handled with experts on your side. Collaboration with Transcenda brings a human-centric approach, ensuring your solutions function seamlessly in real-world environments. Our team can join your project at any stage, from codebase stabilization to new feature development and testing. With every team member involved we engineer smart home solutions designed to enhance user experiences. By gauging how the solutions actually function in the home, our team members provide a compelling perspective on how to improve them.

In addition to Savant Cync, we've supported Savant Pro and August and Yale solutions, proving our expertise in the field of smart home. Contact us to get started or learn more.

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