Machine-to-machine, also known as M2M, is technology that supports communication between devices through wireless and wired systems. It is the forerunner of IoT that focuses on connectivity between devices within a business, rather than a global network. Businesses achieve a lot of benefits by implementing and improving M2M, including improved business performance, maintenance, and customer experience.
But the functionality that comes with connected devices also brings challenges. The more M2M devices your business has, the more communication channels open up, creating potential security risks and ever-increasing amounts of data that you need to store and analyze. To help your business improve M2M device management, follow these four tips.
How Businesses Can Improve M2M Device Management
Tighten M2M Security
Even though M2M devices typically only connect with other devices within your businesses, they still need security protocols, to protect your business and its information.
To start improving M2M security, make sure every M2M device within your business has three key components:
- A secure device identity
- A secure communication channel
- A secure, trusted software environment
Each of these elements will help protect your devices and the information they pass between them from breaches and problems.
Unfortunately, you can’t stop all problems. So for mission-critical devices, ensure that faults are flagged in real-time and that corrective actions are made immediately. The sooner you resolve an issue, the better protected your devices and their data will be.
Implement IoT Analytics
IoT builds on M2M networks, taking them to a new level. If you have a secure M2M network in place, consider implementing IoT analytics on top of your M2M network. This can help businesses to track and manage assets instead of just providing a way for assets to connect with one another. IoT analytics systems can be connected to the systems that you already have such as enterprise asset management software, to generate insights that help you improve M2M device performance and increase asset lifespan.
Use Management Tools and Applications with High Interoperability
M2M devices don’t necessarily have interoperability out of the box. But these devices need a seamless method of communication so that they aren’t bogged down with data. One way to ensure this is to make sure that you only use devices with high levels of interoperability. Then, make sure that any management tools and applications that you add to your network also work well with your current system.
It’s this focus on M2M adoption and interoperability that will see the shipment of oil and gas devices with cellular and satellite communication capabilities reach 263,000 in 2018, a CAGR increase of over 23 percent since 2013.
Check Industry Standards
The IoT and M2M ecosystem does not have a single set of unified industry standards. Instead, there are multiple standards set by different organizations that manage different parts of M2M devices and their connectivity. A few standards you may run into include:
- OMA DM
- OMA LightweightM2M
Your business should take the time to check M2M industry standards regularly. Ensuring your devices follow the standards that apply to your business and its device use will help improve interoperability and performance. It will also make it easier for you to adjust your network, adding, removing, or updating devices and management processes when necessary.
M2M Devices and Management Needs Will Continue to Grow
The M2M market is predicted to grow to just under $200 billion by 2022.¹ The benefits to businesses are huge, but only if devices are properly managed. Security will become more important over time, as will standards and interoperability as the number of M2M devices increase.
Find devices, applications, and M2M management platforms that put performance first, then use the four methods above to improve the way you work your M2M devices on a daily basis.