The Internet of Things (IoT) is experiencing explosive growth – can your homegrown software delivery solution handle it?
Many device manufacturers are transforming from hardware- to software-centric business models amidst the huge IoT opportunities. In response some are building their own solutions to manage and deliver software products and updates. While initial builds can satisfy short-term requirements, most homegrown solutions simply cannot scale.
But scale is what makes the IoT different than other recent trends – about 6.4 billion devices were online in the IoT as of 2016, a 30% increase from 2015. For 2020 the analysts from Gartner predict 20.8 billion connected devices, HIS even predicts more than 30 billion devices.
More connected devices means more demand on systems that support and serve these devices. With increased connectivity, the ability to automate emergency software fixes and monetize software functionality updates is a critical component for any IoT solution. The frequency of software updates is changing dramatically as well – where quarterly or even yearly updates were usual before IoT, we often see monthly, weekly or even daily updates for connected apps and devices today – another factor that could break systems and processes if they do not scale.
TIP 1: Implement Purpose-built Solutions to Scale with the IoT Growth
The number of transactions that will hit your systems in an IoT world can be staggering, so you should make sure your software delivery solution can scale with the growing demand.
As an example, FlexNet Connect, the Flexera solution for automated software delivery, installed base analytics and remote diagnostics, handled over 47.5 Billion software requests in 2016 in the Cloud deployment alone, with many more being completed in on-premises deployments. This is an average of 100 million requests per day. In 2015, FlexNet Connect Cloud delivered over 65 Million software updates, a 78% increase from the previous year. Many of the world’s leading intelligent device manufacturers rely on its scale, speed and reliability which they could not otherwise build themselves.
With the growing number of devices, the growing number of updates per device and the increased demand for security updates, you don’t have a lot of time to improve your software delivery solution once your products are on the market – Make sure you build in a purpose-built solution from the start!
TIP 2: Automate Your Upgrade Management Processes
The second factor that is critical for scalability are processes related to software upgrades. Many producers today still have manual steps in these processes that make it difficult to scale. In order to automate software delivery processes, you need to know which customer is using which version of your software on which platform and what they are entitled to. For example, customers that are out of maintenance might be eligible for critical security fixes but not for functionality upgrades. Keeping this information in an entitlement management system and automating the related notification and software delivery processes is another solution that will enable you to keep pace with the IoT growth.
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