With the number of IoT devices predicted to hit 27 billion by 2024, the need for device management is clear. Security is one of the leading talking points surrounding growth in this sector, but it is not the only concern. Durability, connectivity longevity, scalability and interoperability are all part of the equation needed for the successful rollout of these devices. Many of these issues can be addressed by platform vendors with scalable IoT solutions.
1. Durable Devices Stay Operational
One of the basic issues with IoT devices is the durability. More durable construction will make it more challenging to maintain and update devices, especially those installed in remote locations. On the other hand, rapid replacement will make IoT technology too expensive. With maintenance and application support already eating a whopping 38 percent of IT budgets, according to a recent CIO survey, adding to that expense line is impractical. Instead, updates must all be handled over the air to allow businesses to effectively keep devices up-to-date even as they add more devices.
2. Security Comes First
The lack of inherent hardware protection means that IoT data security must be the first priority for developers. With unauthorized remote access to baby monitors and vehicle hacks already impacting IoT technology, developers need a software solution prepared to deal with the unique way these devices operate. Current security models focus on short bursts of protection, but IoT technology connects for long periods of time, turning computers and mobile devices into control hubs. Thus, security needs to be updated regularly. Rolling out these updates to millions of devices is where the challenge comes in. A standards-based platform that puts security first makes it easy for companies to provide different access levels as new devices come online.
3. Operating at Scale, Quickly
IoT platform vendors offer remote device management, but that doesn’t mean they can handle rapid expansion. Not only do businesses need the ability to scale, they need to do so quickly. To meet this need, vendors must be able to roll out support for constantly growing suite of disparate devices. A truly scalable system grows with the company, rolling out updates as needed at a pace that is sustainable. Also, an update issue should still leave devices operating normally while the problem is fixed. In many cases, these same updates need to extend across national boundaries. No one wants to replace their old technology with every new iteration. Instead, platforms must continue to support older devices while also rolling out updates for newer models, much like the smartphone industry does today.
4. Different Devices Use Different Operating Systems
The issue of serving thousands of different types of devices, all using different hardware, can be addressed by adopting a standards-based approach to IoT. This is the only way to allow for interoperability and creating a protocol for developing and updating devices at scale. Since devices may have a different operating system, the ability to work with a variety of operating systems is a must. An open, standards-based approach uses software that contains no proprietary programming and implements all changes in using industry best practices. Standards-based refers to using the standard practices currently in use so customers are not tied down by an expensive legacy system.
Customer-centric IoT Platform Development
More devices means more management and creates a massive burden on IT departments everywhere. Companies that understand the potential of IoT also recognize the need to expand IoT operations as quickly as technology allows. Scalable solutions are the only way to allow businesses to invest in IoT while it is a developing technology. To meet customer expectations and prepare for the future of mobility management, IoT platform vendors need to be ready with solutions that scale with the business, offer top-notch security, work with virtually any device and do all of this using an open, standards-based approach. Done successfully, mobile carriers are in a unique position to offer value with an already existing infrastructure for rolling out over the air updates to billions of devices.