The Internet of Things (IoT) market continues to demonstrate solid growth, with Gartner, Inc. forecasting that it will grow to 5.8 billion endpoints in 2020*, a 21% increase from 2019. This figure includes commercial IoT, industrial IoT and automotive markets.IoT refers to any device that is connected to the internet. It can apply across many industries such as healthcare, agriculture, utilities, manufacturing, transport, retail and automotive. As consumers, we might be surprised to find just how many IoT devices we actually have at home and part of our daily lives - from cars, refrigerators and televisions to even heart monitors.
It’s no surprise then, that we are seeing such an explosion in the number of connected devices. But with it also comes a fresh set of security challenges, because IoT devices that lack adequate security can be controlled remotely by those with malicious intent. As a result, customer data, privacy and safety are at serious risk.
Whilst these security concerns have been widely discussed for many years, we are finally seeing added pressure coming down from governments, to make it top priority.
The United Kingdom was one of the first to address this, with the introduction of their IoT security code of practice, which includes 13 guidelines for manufacturers to follow in order to safeguard their devices and customers. The Australian government followed suit, with their recently released Code of Practice which is very similar to the UK’s. And finally, the State of California in the United States is introducing a new legislation which will mandate the use of unique passwords on every device.
It won’t be long before more and more governments throughout the world introduce their own laws. Which means that eventually, every IoT vendor/manufacturer will be held accountable for the security of their devices. Failing to do so will not only damage vendor brand reputation but could also result in hefty legal penalties.
It All Starts with the Installed Base
As a vendor, if you want to achieve compliance, the first place to start is by knowing your installed base. Before you enforce any type of security controls on any device, you need an accurate, real-time understanding of all of your installed assets across your channel. You need 100% confidence in the integrity of your data. Without this, you can never claim to be fully compliant.
To help achieve an accurate view of your installed base, the method in which you enter, consolidate and maintain this data is extremely important. This process needs to be as automated as possible, to help eliminate human error and ensure it’s done in a timely manner. All too often, we speak to vendors who are still doing one or more of the following:
- - Holding data in multiple disparate systems
- - Relying on partners to submit POS reports in enormous excel spreadsheets
- - Wasting time and resources trying to analyze and interpret the data
- - Using tools not fit for purpose to manage their installed base (e.g. CPQ/ERP)
- - All of the above
Yet, none of these methods can be scaled to effectively handle the level of growth expected within the industry.
IoT Product Lifecycles
Proactive product lifecycle management of each device is extremely critical - from maintaining firmware/software updates right through to managing end of life or service. Given the sheer volume of these devices, this process needs to be as seamless as possible, leveraging automated reminders and alerts.
Staying ahead of the product lifecycle will not only help you manage compliance, it will also help identify and activate growth opportunities amongst existing customers.
Installed Asset Lifecycle Management
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, you don’t need to spend years and a tonne of resources building your own in-house system to try and do all of this for you. Nor do you need to hire more staff to attempt to handle the additional data and work.
An installed asset lifecycle management platform can not only do this efficiently, cost effectively and at scale, it will also be your single source of truth when integrated with your CRM and/or ERP system and implemented across your channel.
Talk to us about how the iasset.com platform can help you meet your compliancy requirements.
*Gartner clients can read more in the report “Scenarios for the IoT Marketplace, 2019.”