The next step in the Wendelstein stellarator line is the large superconducting device Wendelstein 7-X, currently under construction in Greifswald, Germany. Steady-state operation is an intrinsic feature of stellarators, and one key element of the Wendelstein 7-X mission is to demonstrate steady-state operation under plasma conditions relevant for a fusion power plant. Steady-state operation of a fusion device, on the one hand, requires the implementation of special technologies, giving rise to technical challenges during the design, fabrication and assembly of such a device. On the other hand, also the physics development of steady-state operation at high plasma performance poses a challenge and careful preparation. The electron cyclotron resonance heating system, diagnostics, experiment control and data acquisition are prepared for plasma operation lasting 30 min. This requires many new technological approaches for plasma heating and diagnostics as well as new concepts for experiment control and data acquisition.