IoT and Mobility: Who is Managing the Disruption?

IoT and Mobility: Who is Managing the Disruption? 

By: Chris Hale, VP of Marketing 

In a recent post I discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise mobility are digital disruptors. A new influx of multiple smart IoT and mobile device types are operating in managed ecosystems to gather data at any point of activity and feed line-of-business information to mission-critical applications.

Although the disciplines of managing mobility and IoT have similarities, many businesses don’t have the time or resources to manage the rapid pace of technological change or the volume and velocity of devices. To seize the opportunities mobility and IoT offer, organizations often turn to managed mobile service (MMS) providers for help.

Mobility and IoT share a common premise: using real-time operational data to deliver actionable insights that drive smarter decisions. Retailers, for example, can employ a variety of sensors, cameras and smart devices to learn more about the buying habits of customers and to improve the buying experience.

While managing IoT definitely adds new layers of complexity to managing mobility, both technologies also share a common foundation from an operational perspective. Both involve gathering data from endpoints and communicating the data, often to distant parts of the business. IoT and mobility both require strategic planning, hardware selection, provisioning, deployment, and ongoing device management.

Management challenges, however, extend beyond deploying devices and managing their lifecycle. Exploiting their business value becomes a more difficult challenge logistically when IoT is added to the mobility landscape.

Consider the sheer scale involved, as IoT may put many thousands of new devices (and new types of devices) under management. Most will require WiFi or wired Internet access and IP addresses.

In addition, IoT and mobility both require the enterprise to support applications while dealing with a lack of standards, multiple vendors, and multiple technology platforms. Then there are the additional challenges of gaining user acceptance, optimizing connectivity, minimizing security risks, and controlling costs.

And finally, all decisions must take the future impact or return on investment into account. With rapid evolving technologies, many devices will have short lifespans.  Other device types may have great potential several years from now, but are premature today.

How can an enterprise effectively work through these new complexities—and still focus on innovation and revenue growth? Many organizations are already using MMS providers to implement, manage and optimize their mobility strategies.  The same approaches can be adapted for IoT.

Leading MMS providers—especially those with a wide range of services and deep partner networks—can help.  Some may be able to give a top-to-bottom blueprint for success, from enterprise goals to the tactics needed to support user requirements at each level of the organization.

The best approaches for optimizing mobility initiatives are evolving as technology changes. Yes, IoT adds new layers of complexity.  Recognize, however, that endpoint devices are no longer the disruptive force they once were. Mobility has matured, and so will IoT.  Now the real disruptive force—with the highest potential payoff—is optimizing devices into a much bigger picture: accelerating enterprise innovation.

For more insights into this topic, read the Stratix brief, Managed Mobile Services: How IoT Will Change Mobility Management.