3 issues to address before deploying IoT projects

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The promise distribution enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to excite manufacturers in many sectors.

Wondering why?

It’s partly because of the potential for ongoing information exchange that can enhance interactions between customers and companies.

Along the way to increased connections, you’ll discover multiple opportunities to do things differently—and better—as technologies improve and we collectively learn best practices. Users of IoT-enabled systems often make decisions about the products they install, then go about their business without much thought to updates or maintenance of components.

If you are deploying IoT-enabled products for customers or IoT-based devices in your own environments, consider these three issues before moving ahead with implementation plans.

1. Updates and maintenance issues

Because IoT components are computing devices, problems with programs may occur, and updates will need to be applied to fix them. In addition, new features are likely to be developed to further enhance operations.

Issues are likely to arise around both access to the devices and the legal rights to apply changes to systems already in service. These can become even more complex if update processes cause unexpected problems requiring physical access by maintenance personnel.

Make provisions in your product warranty and terms of service to account for these issues.

2. Authentication needs

The nature of IoT devices is to connect to other devices, to users, and to data storage facilities. Authentication processes must be seamless and persistent so that as network environments change or lose connection, devices restart and reconnect without intervention.

In an industrial environment with hundreds or thousands of devices in difficult-to-reach locations, fast restart can make the difference between getting an entire facility running again and waiting for service staff to perform manual resets. Designers should build in functionality that enables fast and automatic authentication.

3. Handling failure

Enabling devices with IoT capabilities can greatly enhance operations and make them easy to monitor and control. However, adding connected intelligence via IoT should not interfere with the nature of the device itself.

Failure of some portion of the IoT process or its ability to communicate must leave the device in a benign state and as fully operational as possible.

Build in functions that allow the device to revert to manual operation if possible when error conditions are encountered. The computing portion of the IoT device should attempt to transmit error status codes when impending failure is detected.

With the right IoT technologies and services in place, you can introduce IoT capabilities to better support operations for both manufacturer and customer, eliminating the need to interfere with operating the device via traditional methods.

Scott Koegler Writer Sponsored Post About Scott

Scott Koegler is a technology journalist with a specialization on the intersection of business and technology. All opinions are his own. AT&T has sponsored this blog post.