What is IoT Device Management? and Top 5 reasons why your business needs it in 2023

What is IoT Device Management? and Top 5 reasons why your business needs it in 2023

If you ask us to envision Internet of Things, we’d probably say,  just think of a huge network of devices—connected to each other and interacting with each other, all over the world.

The ‘things’ portion of IoT is what connects the digital to the physical, and these devices are evidently crucial for a successful IoT project.

What Is IoT Device Management?

IoT device management is the list of overall tasks that come up in the lifecycle of IoT devices. Everything from configuration, monitoring, updating, maintenance, bug fixes, and security, all falls under IoT device management. So it is a term loosely used to indicate different features that let you remotely monitor your IoT devices and interact with them.

What to expect: In this article, we will look at the broad set of features that come under device management and compare offerings from different platforms.

Why do you need IoT device management?

The most common functions of IoT device management that we mentioned above are usually offered by most IoT service providers or even device suppliers. So why does anyone need IoT device management specifically?

There are five reasons why IoT device management is crucial for your business-

1. Reduced operational costs

IoT device management allows you to monitor device health, performance, and real-time updates. This allows you to spot problems, bugs, and security threats early and save costs on fixes as well as downtime.

It also reduces overall operational costs as IoT device management improves overall efficiency by speeding up backend processes considerably.

2. Improved Security

IoT device management allows you to strengthen your device security with regular updates, real-time monitoring, and data logging. All of this allows you to maintain strong security protocols for your entire project.

3. Application management

Application management, a component of device management, allows organizations to control and maintain the various applications installed on their devices. This helps ensure that only authorized and secure applications are used and that they are kept up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates. In turn, it prevents malware and other security threats from infiltrating the system, protecting both the device and the sensitive data it may contain.

Additionally, application management allows organizations to monitor and control the usage of their applications, ensuring that they are being used in an efficient and productive manner. Overall, effective application management is essential for ensuring the security and proper functioning of device management platforms.

4. Enhanced connectivity

Connectivity is dependent on several factors like connectivity protocols, device health, firmware, and more. With IoT device management, all of these factors are regularly monitored and maintained for optimal performance. As a result, devices enjoy better connectivity with IoT device management.

5. Remote interaction

Device management allows you to remotely interact with your devices. This can be especially useful for businesses with distributed teams or individuals who need to remotely manage their devices.

With remote interaction, users can access their devices and perform tasks such as updating software, configuring settings, and troubleshooting problems without having to be physically present. This can save time and resources, and make it easier for users to keep their devices running smoothly and securely.

Must-Have Features for an IoT Device Management Platform

A modern device management platform should have a wide range of features to ensure that it can effectively manage and control a diverse array of devices. Some of the must-have features in a device management platform include:


  1. Easy onboarding: Any device management platform should have an intuitive and user-friendly onboarding process that allows new devices to be easily added to the system. This should include support for a variety of device types, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and IoT devices.
  2. Device shadow: This feature allows the platform to maintain a virtual representation of each device, including its current state and configuration. This allows administrators to monitor and control the devices remotely, without the need for physical access.
  3. Metadata management: A device management platform should allow administrators to easily view and manage the metadata associated with each device, such as its make and model, serial number, and current firmware version. This can help with asset tracking and inventory management.
  4. Remote interaction: The device management platform should provide administrators with the ability to remotely interact with devices, such as by issuing commands or accessing the device's shell. This can be useful for troubleshooting and remote support.
  5. OTA updates: Over-the-air (OTA) updates are an essential feature, as they allow administrators to quickly and easily push updates and patches to devices without the need for physical access.
  6. Remote shell: The ability to access a device's shell remotely is essential for advanced troubleshooting and support. A device management platform should provide administrators with the ability to remotely access the shell of each device, allowing them to diagnose and fix issues quickly and efficiently.
  7. Log management: A device management platform should provide administrators with the ability to view and manage the logs generated by each device. This can be useful for tracking device activity and diagnosing issues.
  8. Security: Finally, security is a critical concern for any device management platform. The platform should provide a range of security features, such as encryption, authentication, and access control, to protect against unauthorized access and data breaches.

Overall, a device management platform with these features can help organizations effectively manage and control their devices, ensuring that they remain secure and operate efficiently.

Protocols in IoT Device management

Now let us take a look at the protocols available in IoT device management. IoT devices, which can range from smart thermostats and security cameras to industrial machinery and medical equipment, rely on a variety of protocols to enable communication and interoperability. Let us take a look at some of the most common protocols:

CoAP

One of the most widely used protocols for IoT device management is the Constrained Application Protocol (CoAP), which is a lightweight, RESTful protocol that is designed for use in resource-constrained environments. CoAP is particularly well-suited for use in low-power, low-bandwidth IoT networks, and is often used for device discovery, monitoring, and control.

MQTT

Another popular protocol for IoT device management is the MQTT, which is a lightweight publish/subscribe protocol that is designed for efficient, low-bandwidth communication. MQTT is commonly used in IoT applications where devices need to communicate with a central server, such as in smart home systems or remote monitoring systems.

XMPP

The Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) is also often used for IoT device management, as it enables real-time communication and event notification between devices. XMPP is particularly well-suited for applications that require bidirectional communication, such as in remote control and monitoring systems.

Other protocols that are commonly used for IoT device management include the Lightweight Machine-to-Machine (LwM2M) protocol, the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP), and the Data Distribution Service (DDS). Several connectivity protocols such as WiFi, Lora, Bluetooth, and ZigBee are also used frequently in IoT device management.

Overall, the use of protocols for IoT device management is essential for enabling communication and interoperability between devices in the IoT. By using these protocols, IoT devices can share data and be controlled remotely, enabling a wide range of applications and services.

Final Thoughts

IoT device management is a crucial requirement for businesses with IoT functions, as it allows you to have fine-grained control over your IoT devices. This in turn can help you minimize damages, data loss, and time loss, while also improving your overall efficiency.

However, a good IoT device management platform is more than just the sum of its features. In order for a device management platform to be effective, the lifecycle of the entire project needs to be cohesive. Bytebeam operates with a customer-first principle, which means that the moment you start using the platform, your entire device journey is taken into account. If you want to know more about how we do this, feel free to reach out to us.