When ‘code rot’ becomes a matter of life or death, especially in the Internet of Things

The possibilities opened up to us by the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is a beautiful thing. However, not enough attention is being paid to the software that goes into the things of IoT. This can be a daunting challenge, since, unlike centralized IT infrastructure, there are, by one estimate, at least 30 billion IoT devices now in the world, and every second, 127 new IoT devices are connected to the internet.  

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Photo: Joe McKendrick

Many of these devices aren’t dumb. They are increasingly growing sophisticated and intelligent in their own right, housing significant amounts of local code. The catch is that means a lot of software that needs tending. Gartner estimates that right now, 10 percent of enterprise-generated data is created and processed at the edge, and within five years, that figure will reach 75 percent. 

For sensors inside a refrigerator or washing machine, software issues mean

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