The explosive growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) is creating new opportunities for businesses to improve their operations and customer experience. IoT has the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work. However, managing all of these devices can be difficult. That’s where IoT device management platforms come in.

What is IoT Device Management?

IoT device management is the process of controlling, monitoring, and maintaining IoT devices; in other words, smart devices. It gives users a centralized platform to monitor device health, deploy updates, and configure settings. This is usually administered via a centralized software platform that users can access from anywhere through the internet.

Such platforms also help you to manage data in IoT systems. IoT devices have sensors that gather information about their environment. In a typical IoT environment, that data gets sent to a cloud database or data analysis tool for sorting. Eventually, the data goes on from there to a client device like a cell phone or computer so the user can see it and perform actions based on the information. Or you can use a P2P (Peer-to-Peer) connectivity platform like Nabto and move data straight from IoT sensors to the receiving device. This cuts down the time required for transferring data.

What are the Benefits of IoT Device Management for Businesses?

IoT device management is essential for embedded device manufacturers because it is like a one-stop-shop for all your devices. Here are the main benefits of IoT device management.

1. Improved efficiency

You can use IoT device management to improve efficiency and productivity. For example, an IoT management system can let you track inventory and assets, monitor customer behavior, and improve safety in the workplace. 

Also, efficiency involves proper utilization of your resources. Some IoT devices can use a lot of power. Your ability to maximize energy efficiency of those devices can make a huge difference to your bottom line. Many IoT management systems let you monitor energy usage for connected devices and make changes to your ecosystem accordingly.

2. Improved security

IoT device management tools can reduce the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches. Keeping track of exactly who is using your devices and how they are being used is a no-brainer way to cut down on the likelihood of anything nefarious happening on your IoT devices. 

Also, P2P connectivity promotes security in IoT data management. Since the data never goes through a third-party database, it’s encrypted from the start of transfer to when it gets to its final destination. That means it’s constantly protected against unauthorized access. 

If you’re looking for additional ways to keep your IoT devices safe, check out our blog on how to securely commission your IoT device.

 

3. Reduced costs

All businesses want to minimize overhead and unnecessary spending. IoT device management tools allow you to automate routine tasks, recognize strengths and weaknesses of your business processes, and learn from the data you collect through your IoT devices. 

Here at Nabto we offer an innovative pricing model that delivers one of the most cost-effective and predictable IoT connectivity solutions on the market. We charge a one-time fixed fee for each device you connect, enabling you to precisely forecast your IoT running costs. What’s more, we only use the cloud to mediate connections, with all data stored at the device level instead of in an expensive database. This helps us to reduce costs versus competitor options and pass these savings onto our customers.  

 

4. Increased customer satisfaction

We live in a data-driven world today, and the importance of a business’ ability to utilize and protect customers’ data cannot be overstated. All data points collected from customers allow you to see where to focus your time and energy to have more satisfied customers. But if you fail to properly secure that data, you risk hefty fines and other penalties, plus you lose client trust. P2P connectivity means that your clients’ data stays in their hands without ever going to a third party, so they can have peace of mind and total privacy when transferring data. 

In addition, customers today want instant responses from their devices. But many IoT networks have heavy latency because of the delay while data is being transferred and processed through a cloud database. By contrast, P2P connectivity reduces or eliminates latency. That means interfaces are synchronous. In other words, when you use the temperature control app on your smartphone to change a setting in your HVAC system, that change is applied in real time. 

All these benefits make IoT device management a necessity for businesses to stay competitive and relevant in today’s digital age.

IoT Device Management Challenges and Solutions

As the number of IoT devices continues to grow, so do the challenges associated with managing them. Here are three of the most common IoT device management challenges and their solutions:

 

1. Access control

One of the biggest concerns with IoT devices is security. Often, these devices are left unsecured and without proper password protection, which makes them an easy target for hackers. In order to ensure the safety of your customers’ data and their IoT devices, you need to take extra precautions when it comes to security. Basically, you need to be able to control who accesses your devices and data. 

Device management in IoT is an important aspect of IoT security because it helps you identify, track and control the number of devices that are connected at any given time. Most IoT device management systems also have options for configuring strong access controls. You should make sure passwords are strong and unique or use Public Key Cryptography. Be sure to also update device firmware regularly. 

 

2. Device proliferation 

Another challenge with IoT devices is their sheer number. As the number of devices grows, so does the complexity of managing them all.

Additionally, a challenge posed by the proliferation of IoT devices is the strain they can put on networks. As more and more devices come online, the demand for bandwidth will continue to increase. This could lead to network congestion and even outages.

A device management platform generally has features to help you automate and centrally manage device operations. Every device on your network needs to be accounted for and used strategically. 

 

3. Fragmented data 

Data is the lifeblood of IoT. As more devices come online, the volume and variety of data can become too expansive and too diverse for any one organization to manage. Different devices generate data in different formats, and much of it is unstructured and difficult to use.

A recent study by Dell found that 70% of IoT decision-makers say that data fragmentation is a major challenge to IoT success. The same study also found that 49% of companies have more than five different types of data being transmitted from their IoT devices.

That’s a lot of data, and it can be difficult to make sense of it all when split across thousands of devices. But IoT device management platforms can collect, curate, and analyze this data. Plus, there’s a lot less fragmented data to deal with when you use P2P communication to move data directly from the sending device to the receiving device, bypassing the cloud storage layer.

Final Thoughts

IoT device management is an involved and complex process. Choosing the right platform for your IoT project is crucial, but it’s only the beginning. A thorough understanding of IoT device management will help you better achieve your IoT goals.

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