The reach of the Internet of Things (IoT) is growing. From healthcare to commodity monitoring, sensors on devices make it easier for companies to collect and analyze information about patients, inventory and a variety of business practices. Consumers are also embracing the convenience provided by IoT devices. Home security, utilities, and money management are all aided by devices that collect information for better decision-making.
There’s a major change that needs to happen in order for the IoT to be more valuable to both the consumer and the enterprise: the separation of the devices from the vendors that supply them.
Device management includes the authenticating, provisioning, maintaining, configuring, and monitoring of the software and firmware that comes with the device. The effectiveness of that management results in the level of utility the devices provide. In most cases, vendors of IoT devices offer comprehensive management of the systems with the solution.
What should concern consumers and enterprises alike is what happens when the vendor goes out of business, or when it’s determined that it’s time to purchase a new device. What’s needed is an open standards environment for the IoT. Today, these solutions are sold vertically integrated with the vendor providing the devices, network connectivity, the IoT gateway, and cloud access. While this setup is ideal for the vendor and can be marketed as a headache-free approach to IoT, it is not ideal for the enterprise or the consumer.
Another approach that is sometimes used is the device vendor ecosystem. While the device may not be tied to a specific vendor, it is tied to the maker of that device and their network of vendors. An enterprise or consumer may have the freedom to use that device within the network of vendors, but it would be impossible for them to match the device of one brand with the software application of another brand.
What’s required is a truly open-standards approach, where the device’s identity and firmware are designed with a standardized process and are completely independent of the software application layer. When an IoT device is purchased, the enterprise or consumer will have the ability to manage its software according to a standardized workflow. This would create an environment where the choice of device, vendor, and software are all within the control of the consumer or enterprise.
To learn more about the changing landscape of IoT technology, contact us at Cory Communications.