State of IoT survey exposes status quo is no longer adequate

25th April 2024
Paige West

Memfault has issued its inaugural benchmark report entitled ‘The State of IoT Software Development’.

Collaboratively crafted with VDC Research, the report draws from a survey encompassing over 775 participants, spotlighting the prevalent hurdles encountered by IoT product developers while also unveiling novel perspectives on industry best practices. The insights shed light on the escalating significance of software within IoT development, the time taken by organisations to identify and rectify product issues, and the widespread acceptance of a status quo that may result in devices operating below optimal capacity.

In the contemporary landscape, vehicles, residences, and even attire are interconnected through the internet. The assimilation of smart devices into everyday routines underscores the imperative need to ensure their seamless operation. The stakes are markedly high, with burgeoning expenses, intricacies, and the perpetual demand for novel functionalities posing formidable challenges for product developers. Furthermore, the absence of sufficient insight and control over operational products heightens the risk of malfunctions or cyber incidents, thereby significantly jeopardising customer contentment, corporate image, and, at its utmost, consumer safety.

"IoT devices have become so intertwined into our daily life that, in many cases, it is a challenge to find a non-connected device,” noted François Baldassari, CEO at Memfault. “It’s critical that companies remember that software is the lifeblood of their IoT product. Without a means to monitor products or the ability to push out updates, support effectively ceases upon deployment. This isn’t acceptable for software developers, and it shouldn't be for IoT companies either.”

Key stats from the study highlight challenges and opportunities within the IoT space, including:

  • The amount of software is growing. IoT devices contain vast amounts of software code, and according to the survey, software has grown to account for nearly 60% of all project development costs
  • It takes too long to find and fix bugs. Half of organisations take more than a week to find the cause of reported software defects, while 20% take several months, and more than 40% of organisations take more than a week to fix those defects once they are found
  • There is a disconnect between perception and reality. Only 8% of organisations typically release fixes within a day of finding software defects, yet 83% of respondents said their development team has adequate tools to efficiently fix defects when they are found in the field
  • Companies rely on customers to flag software issues. 38% of respondents reported using external bug reports and/or customer complaints to measure the quality of deployed software. This was the most common metric
  • Software bugs can be costly to fix. Software defects reported by customers require 75 additional person-hours per year to fix for the least complex projects, and up to three person-months for the most complex projects
  • Taking a proactive approach can reap benefits. Organisations using tools to monitor deployed devices spent half as much time remediating each software defect, allowing more time to focus on innovation rather than maintenance

"With IoT becoming increasingly integrated into our daily lives, companies must have a long-term plan for product support and maintenance. We are already seeing governments take notice, including in the EU, which will require all devices in 2026 to have over-the-air capabilities,” continued François. “Embracing a proactive stance is essential, and it doesn't have to be challenging – provided you have the appropriate tools."

To learn more and to access the accompanying report, visit

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