But let’s see where it comes from.
In our last article, we discussed the basics of IoT devices: what they are, how they work, and why they’re essential to so many businesses. (If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, check it out here.) But how do you combine thousands of IoT devices into a connected system that delivers key functionality, whether it’s a consumer product line or a facility smart manufacturing? This challenge, to create and maintain an integrated system that includes many IoT devices, is called IoT device management. So what does an IoT device system actually manage? In short, everything that makes IoT work. Among other things, this includes:
- Hardware (i.e. the IoT devices themselves)
- Software (ie device firmware, IoT device management platforms and other tools)
- Connectivity (i.e. network technologies, from LPWAN to WiFi and more)
- Device management processes (ie the day-to-day tasks of managing an IoT system)
- A guiding strategy for managing IoT devices (ie life cycle approach detailed below)
This may sound complex, and honestly, it is. That’s why we recommend partnering with IoT experts. There are IoT development companies and they can help you build an effective device management system from the ground up. Before you start looking for a partner, however, you should understand what they will help you with do. This introduction to IoT device management explains the topic.
“IoT development companies are out there and can help you build an effective device management system from the ground up.”
– A lot of technology
A lifecycle approach to IoT device management
An IoT device management system needs a few essential elements to function. You need power, of course. (The network can provide power to servers and IT infrastructure, but you can use batteries in your devices.) You need robust communication networks, which can work with one or more technologies: cellular, WiFi, satellite, Bluetooth, etc. data processing and storage capabilities. Finally, the entire system must be locked down with robust security at multiple layers, from devices to applications to cloud infrastructure.
But even with all of this in place, the key question remains: What is your strategy for managing your IoT devices? How do you plan to get them online, make sure they work, and deal with any challenges that may arise?
Start by understanding that IoT systems are not static. Every device has a beginning and an end. In between, devices must change to meet evolving demands. This reality means that you must plan for the entire lifecycle of the device and the embedded system that includes the device. Your IoT device management strategy will likely include most or all of the following lifecycle stages:
- supply First, you need to configure the software and firmware activated the device to avoid manual changes in the future.
- registration All devices must be registered with your device management platform before exchanging data.
- partitioning Some elements of your IoT infrastructure need to be cut off from others, so you can upgrade software without shutting down the entire system. This is achieved using dynamic partitioning.
- Remote monitoring. This is the core of device management: monitoring devices through a user dashboard that provides all device data and behavior, plus diagnostic tools. It’s also where you troubleshoot and interact directly with remote devices.
- Mass management. With hundreds of thousands of devices in the field, you can’t manage each one individually. Bulk device management lets you organize your fleet into dynamic hierarchies and logical groupings, then work with many of them at once.
- Remote setup. From time to time, you will need to alter the configurations of your working IoT devices. You need a device management platform that supports this capability.
- Updates over the air. Devices run on firmware and software that require occasional updates. Your management solution should be able to send these updates over the air, so you don’t have to manually access every device in the field. (Continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) make this task efficient.)
- integration Most likely, you connect multiple software tools to your central device management platform. You achieve this through APIs and software development kits (SDKs).
- dismantling The devices follow their course. Your management system should include processes that allow you to remove these devices from the system.
These are the tasks involved in managing IoT devices. But what about the tools? At a minimum, you’ll need a software solution designed to provide the functionality in the nine steps above. This tool is called an IoT device management platform.
Understand the IoT device management platform
You don’t need to build an IoT device management system from scratch. There are several major IoT device management platforms available. Out of the box, these systems allow you to configure, deploy, and manage your devices. They even help you build custom IoT applications, sometimes with little or no coding knowledge required.
While there are many specialized IoT device management platforms, the big tech companies offer some of the most recognizable ones. This includes:
Note that Google does not appear on this list. Google Cloud offered an IoT device management platform at one time, IoT Core, but that system is scheduled to be retired in August 2023.
Each platform may have its strengths and weaknesses, but they all essentially do the same thing. Your IoT development partner will help you choose the ideal platform for your use case. (Just make sure you choose a platform-agnostic IoT partner.) You can then use the platform to perform the tasks outlined in our IoT device lifecycle review. That, in a nutshell, is IoT device management.
Of course you can’t to manage IoT devices until you design and build them. That’s what we’ll cover in Part 3 of this series: Designing, Building, and Deploying IoT Devices.
At Ikaroa, we are happy to introduce TechToday’s latest offering – IoT Device Management. With the latest advancements in technology, the number of connected devices continues to grow rapidly. To manage these devices and ensure their security, TechToday provides an easy-to-use solution that is secure, efficient, and helps reduce risk.
Device data is pulled securely from the device and stored in an analytics platform. This enables customers to view, monitor, and control their connected devices from a single dashboard. IoT Device Management allows users to set up alerts, schedule maintenance windows and manage upgrades from anywhere. It also provides insights on device performance and usage history.
IoT Device Management ensures that businesses are safe from malicious attacks and unauthorized access. It features multi-layered security measures to protect data, secure communications, and manage identity. With its world-class encryption algorithms and secure access controls, users can be sure that their data is always secured.
IoT Device Management also helps users save time and money. It simplifies network discovery, discovers connected speakers, and streamlines diagnostics. This means that repairs and replacements can be carried out quickly, avoiding costly downtime. Additionally, users gain more control over their devices, enabling them to access real-time insights and adjust settings with ease.
At Ikaroa, we are excited to be part of the future of IoT. Our experienced developers and specialists can help you get the most out of your IoT investments, so that you can make the most out of your connected devices. With TechToday’s IoT Device Management, businesses can optimize their deployments, reduce risk, and stay secure. Contact us today to get started.