Simply put, the Internet of Things takes physical objects, connects them to the Internet, and allows them to be read and controlled remotely. But gathering this intelligence isn’t enough. It’s also important to understand the context around it.

The data from connected devices becomes more meaningful when it’s combined with applications and cloud services that help you gain insights and take action. In addition, this improved understanding gives businesses the power to evolve their operations and interactions with customers, and improve revenue.

Creating applications for the Internet of Things

The streams of data the IoT enables opens up a new ecosystem for custom applications. To take full advantage of all this information, the best of this type of app development is two-sided:

Customer Engagement - This element focuses on the app’s user experience by offering beautiful design, the latest and greatest UI, speed, and personalised options, such as remembering preferences.

Business Process - On the internal side, the development needs to emphasise real-time workflows, including automated employee responses; data integrity, so you can predict customer needs; and the ability to continually build your brand.

Technology exists that allows you to link both critical elements and make data sharing between them appear almost automatic. Heroku Connect seamlessly combines the capabilities of both, for internal business-facing apps, and Heroku, a platform for professional developers to build high-scale apps that run on any device.

Tieing applications into business systems

Another key element of a successful IoT application strategy is unlocking business potential by integrating the data you collect from connected devices and products to business intelligence systems, such as ERPs, CRMs, and logistics.

This takes that data from interesting to transformative, especially when it comes to how you sell, market, and provide customer service. As a business driver and source of truth, cloud solutions, such as Salesforce, put the data in context for your business. Heroku Connect makes it simple to build apps that sync with your Salesforce deployment.

Watch our recorded webcast with Threadneedle Investments and find out more about creating your own apps on the Salesforce Platform. The recording also features a live demo showing how easy it is to build your own applications.

Platform webinar

This article original appeared on the Salesforce Blog.