Benefits and Challenges of IoT Device Management Platforms

Kamal R -
IoT Device Management Platforms
Illustration: © IoT For All

As the popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow, businesses must note the latest technologies in the landscape. An effective device management platform (DMP) solution is a vital component of any successful small or large IoT implementation project. Such a platform allows businesses to manage their internet-connected devices remotely. It entails the process of setting up an IT infrastructure and authentication of the configured devices. You can also perform remote configuration, data collection, reporting, real-time monitoring, and over-the-air (OTA) software deployments through these platforms. You can also handle updates or patches on the various connected objects through DMPs. In a nutshell, a DMP offers the glue required to tie together the assets and devices consisting of the physical layer of an IoT platform.

How Do DMPs Work?

An IoT device management platform serves as a central hub, which provides remote access, configuration control, and security for your connected devices.

When selecting an appropriate DMP, it is essential to look at factors such as robust APIs that enable custom scripting on deployed devices. A customizable dashboard with group controls and edge device access allows you to manage groups of smart sensors.

Critical Criteria to Take Into Account for Building IoT Device Management Solutions

IoT platforms help automate management functions and add another layer of security measures. They control vulnerabilities of IoT products and minimize breaches.

The decision-making process is complex and needs to be evaluated through the lens of several requirements and limitations. To do this successfully, some technical criteria need to be taken into account:

  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Interoperability
  • Stability
  • Time-to-market
  • Platform compatibility
  • Platform life expectancy

With the IoT DMP client library, your application can securely and seamlessly communicate with the host app. The IoT DMP allows you to create applications for managing millions of devices connected to different platforms.

This includes the likes of Windows 10 or third-party ones like Arduino using an easy-to-use cloud service interface. You can avail IoT app development services without worrying about adding another layer of authorization for device management.

The arrangement makes the connection process easier and faster than before, and you can automate the life cycles of the connected assets, improving the resilience and security of the IoT device estates.

The Road to Efficient IoT Device Management: How to Get Started

Given the complexities of an IoT device, it is imperative to set up a standard process that all stakeholders follow. By knowing what happens at every step in the lifecycle from the design stage through decommissioning and disposal, you can be better prepared for any unexpected problems arising during production.

Onboarding

The enrollment process into the system is crucial not only in the early stages but also to help kickstart an IoT-enabled enterprise. You can bypass risks related to hostile attacks with intelligent and secure provisioning, which accelerates time-to-market.

Device authentication is essential for provisioning and allows for secure connections between devices and IoT platforms. During authentication, the device credentials are presented to the server, with some implementations using certificates or pre-shared keys.

Configuration

In most cases, smart devices come with generic pre-configuration provided by manufacturers. This means that service providers will have to configure the fleet according to deployment specificity such as installation location and role in an emerging IoT ecosystem.

A flexible and intuitive configuration mechanism allows you to design the behavior of your smart fleet based on current needs. IoT fleet management can be difficult and time-consuming. However, device grouping capabilities make it easier by allowing the devices in a group to set their settings automatically together.

Maintenance

IoT security challenges are real, which is why it is essential to be aware of the newest updates and security risks when putting connected devices in place. With comprehensive IoT device management software, your devices will be kept secure and updated with over-the-air updates. You can always stay on top of all security-related hassles with a solid DMP at work.

Diagnostics

Diagnostic features are essential to reduce the impact of unexpected operational issues. IoT project managers must keep in mind that predictive maintenance can save businesses.

IoT DMPs help prevent failures by using sophisticated and actionable insights into issues across your entire network. Your team can minimize problems upfront, saving much time, effort, and money in the long run.

Key Challenges to Note When Implementing an IoT DMP

The scale at which IoT operates places IT operations management practitioners in the center of identifying ways to reduce costs and manage risks. A Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) system helps you manage it effectively. However, the following challenges must be considered before deploying a device management platform:

Data Management

IoT networks generate vast volumes of data. IoT organizations must ensure they collect only the necessary data. Extra and unorganized information will make it harder to draw meaningful insights.

Therefore, IoT experts need to find a platform that can appropriately handle all of their collected data while tracking and analyzing them. Many companies are turning towards cloud storage for help with this issue since it has proven capable of handling large volumes of informative metrics.

Power Management

IoT devices use regular electrical power and battery power to support their functioning in hard-to-reach locations or battery power in remote areas.

Organizations must continuously monitor the batteries of their remote IoT device and schedule maintenance, recharging, or replacement. They are finding ways to conserve device power when not in use is how IT teams can manage a fleet of remote devices.

Device Monitoring

New IoT devices are often complex for IT teams to manage. They need to be installed, configured, monitored and maintained regularly. Each new sensor must be installed and configured individually before being routinely monitored.

In addition, they have to maintain them by updating when necessary as well as diagnose issues with each device if something goes wrong, which is often complicated due to their location from main facilities away from a place where most of these things are located, causing multiple challenges that make managing these newer devices harder than ever.

Device Connectivity

The increase in network traffic and internet connectivity from IoT devices requires the network to scale. Many of these devices use wireless technology, but some require wired connections.

The most up-to-date Wi-Fi can ensure high uptime and scalability, while cellular technologies may be used for remote or populated areas. Cellular usage could lead to increased fees and any overages incurred that providers charge.

Cybersecurity

Unauthorized users can exploit IoT devices to access an enterprise’s network. An organization must enroll and authenticate these devices if they want them to be secure on their network.

Provisioning the device, which is done through enrollment with credentials, helps keep unauthorized people away from corporate information stored in its devices or internet connection.

Authentication verifies that it belongs, ensuring only authenticated individuals are allowed onto the IoT network with special keys or passwords.

Critical Component

Without a surprise, interoperability holds a lot of importance in the IoT ecosystem. It comprises a sea of protocols and standards, network and communication methods, and so on that need to be considered if scalability is the end goal, which it is in major IoT projects.

IoT device management is a critical component in your IoT project planning process. Whether you are looking to upgrade your deployed devices or considering an entirely new system, the capabilities of an IoT device management platform can save time and reduce costs.

Therefore, it is essential to pick a DMP that can keep your devices online, up-to-date, and optimized for your specific application needs, while also providing increased security along with a robust real-time monitoring capability for optimal ROI.

Author
Kamal R - Director of Products, Intuz

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Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All. If you're interested in contributing to IoT For All, cli...
Guest writers are IoT experts and enthusiasts interested in sharing their insights with the IoT industry through IoT For All. If you're interested in contributing to IoT For All, cli...