5 Reasons You Need an IoT Device Management Platform
As IoT adoption continues to develop, companies are struggling to assemble the moving parts in the digital ecosystem. Given the sheer complexity of IoT, it’s not uncommon to overlook important elements of the equation. If you think smart devices, connectivity and cloud analytics are all you need in an IoT architecture, you’re missing out on a major piece of the puzzle – network and device management.
There’s a simple explanation of why network and device management, despite its fundamental role to IoT success, could be easily overlooked. Businesses, especially those at the outset of IoT adoption, are often unaware of why they need it in the first place. In this blog, we dive into five reasons why a network and device management platform is a linchpin in your IoT value chain.
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1. Accelerate Time-to-Market and Reduce Costs
An out-of-the-box network and device management platform helps solution developers shorten development and testing time to bring products to the market in a timely fashion. When bundled with a connectivity offering, the platform provides everything you need to immediately get the network up and running. In addition, a future-proof architecture enables you to readily roll out large-scale deployments and supercharge future growth of your IoT solution. Plus, simplifying and automating network and device administration tasks allows you to focus on your core expertise and effectively keep costs down.
2. Enable Secure Device On- and Off-boarding
A smart device isn’t automatically connected to your IoT network, nor should it be. You need a secure approach to configure and add only authorized devices into the network architecture, and an network and device management tool helps you do so in a simple and straightforward manner. Via a web interface, you can authenticate end nodes and establish secure communications by registering and attaching them to the authorized base station(s) – using their network keys and identification credentials. Only after the onboarding process, is the node permitted to join the network and securely transmit data with network-level encryption. Similarly, if deployed nodes are no longer needed, you can conveniently offboard them from the web UI – without having to travel to the field.
3. Streamline Network Monitoring and Troubleshooting
As your IoT deployment scales to hundreds or even thousands of geographically dispersed nodes, a manual approach to troubleshooting is inefficient, expensive or just practically impossible. On the other hand, by leaving end nodes completely unattended, you risk failing to receive business-critical data when it’s needed the most. A network and device management platform provides you with a single-pane, top-down view of all network traffic, registered nodes and their status. If you have multiple base stations in one network, it serves as a central hub aggregating data across base stations. This is particularly useful in monitoring and diagnosing unexpected issues on both network- and device-level.
Real-time visibility into incoming data, battery level and keepalive messages from individual nodes allows you to immediately identify and determine root causes of bottlenecks. For example, if a node intermittently fails to deliver messages, it could mean that the radio traffic is overloaded. On the other hand, if it completely drops out of the network and stops sending messages, there could be a hardware defect or a firmware bug. Likewise, with continuous battery level monitoring, you can schedule maintenance for multiple devices at once to save time and costs.
4. Simplify Deployment and Management of Downstream Applications
An IoT device management platform also acts as the bridge between the edge network and users’ downstream data servers and enterprise applications. A versatile solution allows for simple integration with any backend systems of your choice, whether on-premises or in the cloud, leveraging protocols such as MQTT, and API calls. As such, you can seamlessly deploy and scale IoT applications to adapt to changes in your business requirements – whether adding new devices to the same application or connecting to a new analytics solution. You can also gain a view into all current integrations and applications from a single window to streamline the management of your entire IoT project.
5. Mitigate Security Risks
Given the ever-growing sophistication of cyber-attacks, Internet-connected components of the IoT network including base stations and routers must always be armed with the latest security features. A manual approach can’t keep up with the demand for constant and timely updates of these critical network infrastructures, particularly those that are remotely deployed. In this context, an IoT network and device management tool can provide automatic operating-system and security updates from afar, allowing you to save costs while assuring that remote base stations are best prepared against malicious attempts. On top of that, round-the-clock network monitoring facilitates timely identification of abnormal patterns such as a surge in data traffic that might indicate a breach.
As IoT initiatives increasingly move beyond proofs-of-concept, businesses need an effective and secure approach to operate and control their networks at scale. An IoT network and device management platform offers simplified provisioning, centralized management and real-time insights into all current devices and integrations to help companies stay on top of their deployment. Coupled with a robust and scalable wireless solution, it allows you to seamlessly expand your IoT network and solutions at minimal cost and complexity.