The Internet of Things (IoT) has been taking over the world on a massive scale since mid 2010s. 2020 proved to continue that trend as Crunchbase listed 34K IoT startups, ranging from automotive and manufacturing to retail and healthcare. The number is staggering and justifies the dire need for IoT development specialists, which many companies are trying to source by building offshore teams.
However, outsourcing has always been associated with risks, security being one of the biggest concerns. Extremely vulnerable to data breaches, developing IoT devices require special handling when it comes to involving outside vendors in the development process. In this post, we explore why cooperating with Ukrainian software development providers can be safe and fruitful. Hopefully, at the end of this article, we'll dissolve your hesitations.
Data protection in IoT Development
IoT devices deal predominantly with personal data, and that's why any IoT development vendor should have well-rounded data protection strategies in place to minimize threats.
Many IoT development vendors in Ukraine deal with the personal data of EU, UK, and North American citizens. It validates Ukrainian companies’ abilities when it comes to protecting client data. How to protect your customer's data when working with an IoT development company in Ukraine?
Protection of personal data is one of Ukrainian government's priorities. In the last decade, several waves of reforms came into force concerning personal data protection regulations. The main driver of those changes is agreements with European Union aimed at making Ukraine's data protection laws resonate with European standards. As a result of this decade-long improvement process, the country's data protection laws are now compliant with the EU Data Protection Directive.
On top of that, personal data protection in Ukraine is regulated by an International Organization of Standardization (ISO) under the ISO 27001-2005 standard developed by an International Electrotechnical Commission. The standard introduces the requirements for the implementation of IT security which every organization is obliged to follow.
On a company level, IoT software development vendors in Ukraine put in a lot of effort to run their business in line with the data protection regulations ruling in the client's country, ranging from GDPR (EU), PIPEDA (Canada), and HIPAA (USA). The exact data protection strategies are typically outlined in the service-level agreements with each individual client. Signing such an agreement binds the vendor to provide information on the type of data they collect, how it's stored, accessed, and transferred, as well as includes post-collaboration data protection settlements. Additionally, most IT companies in Ukraine have round-the-clock CCTV surveillance and biometric key access to the office. The client is always welcome to add an extra level of security, for example, conducting security audits.
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Having a relevant education is critical for an IoT developer, as IoT device development calls for in-depth knowledge of Maths, Systems Engineering, and other technical fields. One of the pillars of IoT services is Ukraine's strong STEM education system that lends itself to a vast pool of educated IoT engineers.
It's commonplace to earn a degree in STEM, given the wealth of programs available for school graduates. IT specialists in Ukraine emphasize the necessity of obtaining a field-relevant degree. With this in mind, more than 80% of software developers in Ukraine have a university degree. It means that when you hire an IoT developer, you can count on working with a qualified specialist with a relevant background.
Eight Ukrainian universities have been ranked among the best universities globally by QS Quacquarelli Symonds Research Center's World University Rankings, including The National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute", the country's most popular technology institution graduating 4,500 students each year.
In recent years, universities in Ukraine have taken significant steps to ensure their programs are on par with modern IT market demands. For example, the country's first full-fledged laboratory of Internet of Things engineering was launched a few years ago at the National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. In addition, a vibrant Internet of Things software engineering community is evolving around Lviv Polytechnic National University after the establishment introduced the first innovative program in IoT in 2016.
As part of life-long education, many developers dive into professional literature, attend technology conferences and participate in field-specific events to exchange tricks of the trade and expand their knowledge of the IoT technologies.
IoT development skills
Ukraine's adoption of IoT technologies can be characterized as slow but steady, as the country is currently increasing their 4G and 5G bandwidths.
The biggest game-changers on a national scale are Kyivstar, Vodafone and Lifecell, the key mobile operators in Ukraine who are currently laying the foundation for further nationwide IoT expansion. Today, more than a dozen Ukrainian cities are already connected to the IoT network.
Another noteworthy company is IoT Ukraine, which has joined forces with Lifecell to implement LoRaWAN technology to bring IoT closer to businesses. The company has already disrupted the local agribusiness, implementing IoT technology to measure soil moisture as well as remote control over air and water quality. Thanks to it, a range of Ukrainian cities can enjoy Smart Parking, environment monitoring, and smart logistics.
Another significant milestone is attributed to bringing the LTE 1800-based NB-IoT network into commercial operation, courtesy of Vodafone Ukraine. The technology allows connecting to the grid in places with poor cell phone reception, such as elevator shafts, which is crucial for ubiquitous IoT adoption.
Although IoT development in Ukraine is still developing, the country is taking fundamental steps to build up a firm basis. Therefore, looking into the future, we can predict the increasing demand for IoT experts, which is why the country is investing in field-specific education.
With a solid education base and the expanding IoT infrastructure, the interest of Ukrainian entrepreneurs in IoT potential is only growing. As a result of this, many homegrown IoT projects appeared on the market. Some of them, such as Petcube and Ajax Systems have even risen to fame worldwide.
- A household name across Ukraine, the USA, and China, Petcube started in 2012 when three ambitious Ukrainians crafted an interactive pet camera with real-time video and laser pointers so pet owners can interact with their pets in real-time when they aren't at home. Petcube is a classic example of a connected device operating remotely via an app.
- Ajax Systems is an IoT security ecosystem, protecting more than 200,000 people in 80 countries from burglary, fire, and other threats. Founded in 2011 in Kyiv and to this day, Ajax Systems produces wireless security equipment for end-users and small and medium businesses.
These startups (and many more) have been built with the hands of Ukrainian IoT development specialists, which is a positive indicator of a strong presence of IoT experts in the country's tech community.
Generally, IoT development in Ukraine is secure. The country is regulated by data-protection laws that are compatible with EU standards. Any additional peculiarities about securing your data can be outlined in service-level agreements. Moreover, the vendors are highly interested in taking measures to protect your data, as this kind of business runs on reputation. Thus, vendors are ready to sign formal obligations no matter how drastic they are as well as take administrative and technical measures to ensure data loss never happens.
Finally, the emerging IoT infrastructure in Ukraine and famous homegrown IoT startups means that Ukrainian developers have harnessed a great deal of expertise in IoT development. On top of that, Ukraine is already providing IoT services for companies worldwide, according to Clutch's list of 125 niche-relevant companies in Ukraine.
Contact us if you have any questions about expanding your team with Ukrainian IoT developers.